A Day In My Shoes

Bringing a Middle East flavour to Limerick Milk Market

Bringing a Middle East flavour to Limerick Milk Market

Fenerbahce fans: Sefik Dikyar with his daughter, Leyla, at their busy Milk Market stall

What time do you get up?

On market days I get up at 4am. I like to get an early start. During the week I usually get up at 7am.

What is your normal breakfast?

Goats cheese, tomatoes, black olives, cucumbers, mixed herbs and two cups of black tea. I buy all of these at Limerick’s Milk Market.

Do you go for a walk or to the gym before or after the office?

On market days I usually don’t walk etc because it’s a long working day, however I walk a lot the rest of the week.

What time do you arrive at the office?

I’m usually into the market by 5am.

What are your first duties?

Firstly I clean my stall before unloading my goods. I then set up my cold pressed juicer and I chop some fruit ready for juicing. Most people who come to my stall come for my speciality, which is Baklava. My selling point is Baklava to Die For. I’ve never had any customers who disagreed afterwards, or died! Baklava is filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey. It’s a dessert which, like everything else on my stall, gives you a taste of the Middle East. You’ll find lots of authentic Middle Eastern tastes on my stall, everything from tea and coffee to herb and spice selections.

How many cups of tea/coffee do you drink in a day?

Being Turkish, I love black tea. I typically drink 8 to 10 cups a day on a day off from work. I rarely drink coffee. I sell a range of freshly pressed fruit juices on my stall, so I will often have a fruit juice instead of a tea or coffee.

What is your normal lunch? Do you have a favourite place?

I don’t eat lunch much as I eat quite a large breakfast. If I feel hungry I will have some melon or mixed nuts. I also work part time in East Room Restaurant in UL and their food is delicious, especially the freshly baked brown bread or fish dishes.

Do you have many meetings during the day?

I meet suppliers once or twice a week. I bake at home and usually keep any customer meetings for Saturday.

What time do you finish up at?

I’m normally finished selling by 3pm and spend an hour cleaning up after that.

Do you watch much TV?

I love football and am a big Fenerbahce fan as are my kids, Leyla and Robert. If we can watch their games online we do. Other than that I don’t watch much TV.

Do you read the newspapers?

Yes I read the local newspapers. It’s a great way to keep up to date with what's happening around the city and to hear of any upcoming events or markets.

What do you do to relax?

I love to cook, go for a walk with my family or watch football.

Are you able to leave the office behind?

Yes I usually aim to bake baklava on the same days each week and try to work similar hours in the restaurant where possible to leave time off before market days.

What is a perfect work day?

Being a trader the best days are when the sun is shining. People are then up and out earlier and it creates a great buzz around the market. My friends come to visit me at my stall and we drink tea and catch up. Meeting new customers is always fun as they always have a story to share.

Do you ever lose your cool and if so what would make you annoyed?

I don't like when people are rude. I usually bite my tongue and ignore it but I wouldn't lose my cool.