THE Potato Hut in Tommyfield Market is celebrating five years of making healthy homemade meals for the people of Oldham.

Nicola Jackson runs the shop, owned and built by her husband Andrew Jackson, along with her best friend Debbie Herrod who she has known since she was just two-years old.

Flowers by Olivia, also in the market hall, is meanwhile owned by Nicola and Andrew’s daughter, Olivia Jackson.

“It’s a bit of a family affair”, said Nicola who is also the owner of Ugly's Make up and Fancy Dress, which has been a staple in the market for more than 20 years.

The Oldham Times:

The Potato Hut exterior and seating area 

Regulars at the Potato Hut, which has previously won Market Trader of the Year, include everyone from NHS workers at the Oldham Integrated Care Centre (ICC), staff at the Civic Centre, college students, gym goers and police officers.

The Potato Hut also boasts a five-star food hygiene rating and is known for being “spotlessly clean”.

The most popular dish is the “very healthy” and “delicious” Cajun chicken served with either jacket potato, salad, or rice, according to Nicola.

The Potato Hut also offers “prep meals” which includes fresh vegetables, rice, and new potatoes.

Nicola describes the Potato Hut as a “really clean shop with clean food”.

She said: “It’s really hard to get nice, tasty food, that’s good for you and that’s the road I’ve gone down, and people really enjoy it.”

The Potato Hut provided healthy prep meals to gyms in the borough over the pandemic, a scheme that it has continued.

“A lot of gym guys order, one or two meals a day, even three sometimes, which they can pre-order or have delivered,” Nicola said.

The Oldham Times:

Prep meals are available at the Potato Hut 

The fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies have also proved a hit, especially amid soaring summer temperatures.

The footfall is welcome after the pressures of the pandemic and successive lockdowns.

Nicola said the “market manager and all the market staff” have been "supportive" to businesses during Covid-19.

She added: “The pandemic has been really hard, and they have been good. We’re all working towards the same direction; we want a really nice new market that’s full of people.”

This week the Oldham Council has unveiled its plans for the Spindles Shopping Centre, which includes a brand new Tommyfield Market.

Nicola, said: “The plans look realty exciting and if the market is all new, clean and fresh, hopefully more people will come to the market.

“We’ve really struggled over the last 10 years and I’m just hoping it will give Oldham a boost and people in the area come back.”