A Chinese import export business has chosen Middlesbrough’s Dundas Market as the venue for its first retail venture.
UK-China Connex Trading Company, run by Middlesbrough-based British-Chinese businesswoman Wen Cai, is selling a range of original Chinese Green tea and antiques, assisting local businesses and individuals to source products from China directly, and offering translation and interpreting and other support services.
Before moving to the UK Wen Cai worked for eight years in import and export in Shenzhen in China, arranging the overseas dispatch of many containers for foreign buyers operating in China.
“Chinese Green tea is becoming ever more popular for its health benefits, but you really can’t get the best quality tea in the UK, so I decided to import it, so people on Teesside can buy the best for themselves, or as a gift,” says Wen Cai who has lived in the UK for more than 17 years and holds an MBA from Teesside University.
“I have always been interested in antiques, so I am also buying and selling all sorts of antiques too, not just those of Chinese origin, though that’s one of my main areas of interest.
“Once we decided to move into retail it made sense to base all our other services here to benefit both the local Chinese community and the business community. Dundas Market will also be a base for my charity work with the Sunshine Project promoting Chinese culture in the North East and helping women get into employment.”
UK-China Connex has taken advantage of Dundas Market’s business creation and growth scheme by renting one of the market’s Enterprise Units to trial its retail concepts.
Wen Cai continues: “The low cost of the Enterprise Unit and the chance to test out our new retail venture initially attracted us to Dundas Market, but I was impressed by the range of help and support on offer from David Harris and from other traders in this very friendly, welcoming and accessible market.”
Dundas Market Manager David Harris says: “Our enterprise initiative helps entrepreneurs like Wen Cai try out their business ideas while minimising costs and risks.
“UK-China Connex joins a number of new traders we have welcomed to the Market in the past few weeks, as word continues to spread that this is an ideal place to run a business in Middlesbrough.”
Part of the Dundas Shopping Centre, Dundas Market is the only indoor market in Middlesbrough.
It has more than 20 exciting and welcoming market stalls, including the award-winning Brickyard Bakery, Sweet Corner, Jean’s Kitchen and Danny’s Family Butchers, selling everything from handbags to gladrags, furniture to fizzbombs, make ups to vapes, candles to mirrors, babywear to bhajis and low fat Chicken Shawarmas, as well as mobile phone and tablet repairs.