Three trolleys and counting!

Cockermouth Country Market is now a three trolley market!

Due to increased demand, Cockermouth have pushed the boat- well trolley – out and expanded their mobile service to three trolleys. The demand is such that two trolleys were unable to carry enough cakes and bakes to satisfy all its shop and office customers.

A third trolley will enable each to have more from the range of fruit and veg, preserves and small crafts. It will also mean that the trolleys get the unsold goods back to the market more quickly so they can go back on the tables!

The local press did a great job of promoting this for the market. The third trolley dolly has had to be renamed- Cake Conveyor- as Andy is a recent migrant to Cockermouth having moved from Swindon (Wroughton actually- AGM 2018 location- what a coincidence!) at Easter!

All our trolley customers are very loyal and demanding- we often get- ” you are late”, “its Friday you should be here earlier” or “thank goodness you are here we need cake”! The trollies will also have more time to develop new customers on each “round”!

At Christmas our trolley customers love the fact they can order their special festive treats and have them delivered to work, while they are working!






Chipping Camden 40- glorious years!

Chipping Camden recently celebrated their 40th year, with a special celebration, bunting and lots of cake! Well done Chipping Camden! Here is to the next 40!

They have also developed their own blog page- a great achievement, so dont ignore it- go and have a look!

Chipping Camdens new blog

And be sure to visit when you are on holiday in the beautiful Cotswolds! Friday morning 9-12 in the Lower Town Hall!



Old (and new) customers get their cake and eat it!

Patricia Bruzon – Axminster CM reports on their new initiative- taking the goodies to the masses!

You can never rest on your laurels , the moment you stop looking for opportunities, is the moment enthusiasm and sales decline. On a whim I was visiting my local garage , and I asked whether they might welcome a visit from our market, no strings attached, no pressure to buy.  ( I had in the past often given a cake or two to the owner when getting my car serviced)  The result of this casual enquiry, is that every week at 10am we take a tray of goodies and have been selling approximately £10 worth of goods , mainly  but not exclusively, sausage rolls . The important thing is that this prompted another market member  to suggest we took our goods to the local sheltered apartments. It required a phone call to the overall building management company who then released the number of the local administrator and we were able to gain access to the flats. We thought that it was important that the residents were protected from all and sundry trying to sell to them so we were delighted to be given permission to turn up at the given time with our  goods. We had no idea what would prove popular , but we had prepared goods in smaller packages including a loaf cake split in two. We took along some savouries as well as cakes and biscuits, everything sold. We also had preserves in smaller jars which sold even though they were more expensive  pro rata , than the larger jars . The delight of customers who could no longer get to the market when they recognized our products , is surely yet another reason to offer this service.  Next time we will take some vegetables , as well as more savouries as these are great for people who may not feel inclined to cook for themselves.  £49.50 in our first week, is a promising start. As one producer pointed out, it was a real team effort, from the suggestion to the execution of a slightly off the wall plan.

Well done Axminster!


If you are reading this you must belong to Country Markets!

What has happened in your market recently?

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A little R&R

If, like me, you are always balancing fourteen balls in the air hoping some dont drop, then listen up!

I have recently been forced to sit for ten minutes three times a day with a heat pad on my eyes- my tear ducts are blocked and its a way of clearing them apparently!

However, it has forced me to sit and do nothing but listen for a whole 30 minutes a day! What a revelation!

In the quiet, its time for contemplation and reflection on the last few hours/days weeks.

With the radio on- or the TV- its time to actually listen with intent to song lyrics, political arguments and adverts!

But most of all its ten minutes of rest which would not come my way otherwise. It certainly spurs me on to the next task once the eye pad is off! Nothing harms or spoils during the R&R, all tasks will wait until I get to them, which I do with renewed vigour!

So the moral of the tale is- take time- no matter how busy you are- to relax and reflect- just for ten minutes!

You will be more productive, I promise. This condition should be gone in a few weeks but I might just make it last a bit longer- but dont tell anyone!

Victoria Sandwich- memory jogger

You know when you taste, hear, or smell something and it transports you back in time? Well it happened to me this week. A WI member was sharing a Victoria Sandwich which was light as a feather, correctly filled with Raspberry jam and adorned with simple castor sugar. One mouthful took me back to being a small child and devouring my Nannas Victoria Sandwich. I can see her making it now in the back kitchen, oil cloth on the table, big cream ceramic bowl, crackled with the passage of time and use, not far from where I sit at this moment- looking at the fells she would know all her life. The cake Nanna produced was a slightly more cooked than the recent one,  with a deep golden crusty edge, which I loved! The taste overall was same, a rich buttery sensation with the sharp jam. Nanna made it with such care and love you could taste it in each mouthful.

That event all those years ago was one of the inspirations for me in my cooking journey through life! Another was the fact my mother- Nannas daughter was a supreme accordionist but never a cook. Mum admitted it and gave up even trying! So it was down to me from a quite a young age to bring a new spin on what we were eating. Spaghetti Bolognese, Nasi Goreng- really adventurous in the early 1970’s- and other “experimental” dishes to make meal times interesting.

Another inspiration happened when I went with family friends to visit their relatives in the  North east. Again a Victoria Sandwich appeared. But this time it was filled and decorated with fresh cream- a  very rare commodity in our house- and big ripe juicy strawberries- my favourite! Oh what a joyous mouthful that was! Back at school the Arts Festival Schedule was out and a decorated Victoria Sandwich was one of the classes.  Completing it in school at lunchtime- to keep the precious cream  cold as long as possible- I carried it to the appropriate table. In front of me were a cacophony of cakes- garish blue and green slimy icing stick in the brain for some reason- all round cakes but such a wide variety- badly piped, stuck on silver balls, various artistic flourishes, you name it- they were there. We all retreated to await the judging! No hope for a plain Vic Sponge with a few strawberries on then!

How wrong can one be. I won the class. Simplicity, seasonality and good execution won the day.

I repeated the creation for my GSCE Domestic Science exam and was pleased to pass that particular one with a C- my highest grade!

I have asked the WI lady for her recipe. It is still the same as it ever was- the weight in sugar, butter and SR flour of two eggs etc.  Nanna  would have used the same recipe.  Such simple ingredients with an outstanding outcome.Vic sand

I might just make one today, and  as I eat it thank my  long gone  lovely Nanna for the memories and inspiration!