Blog

Tamworth has success at local business awards

Congratulations to Tamworth Country Market for being Highly Commended at the Tamworth Business awards recently! They were in the Retail Business category, up against shops and businesses that open full time- not one morning a week! I am told four people involved in the market had a splendid evening all dressed up in their finery to receive the award! Keep up the good work Tamworth!

Tamworth Cert

A Summer of fun at Bentley Heath!

Louise from Bentley Heath Country  Market reports:

For the third year running, a bunch of producers (who enthusiastically call themselves the ‘Marketing Committee’) at Bentley Heath Country Market decided to organise a craft activity for children each week over the school holidays.  We were a bit late in our planning this year, holding the all important brainstorming conflab only a week before the schools broke up!

The summer kicked off with a seasoned favourite- one of Charlye’s treasure hunts.  These are always well received by the children (although we have a sneaking suspicion that their parents and grandparents perhaps enjoy it more- there are often cases where the child is quite happy to sit down for a drink and a biscuit but is prevented from doing so by their more competitive older accompaniment, who ‘just has to find the last picture’.)

For the first week, Karen also organised some fabric printing: small linen jute bags that the children could decorate with fabric paint and potato stamps.  Perfect for keeping their summer holidays bits and pieces in.

BH Craft 1

Jenny organised week two and was inspired by the theme of Art in the Park, Leamington 2018 (which the market was attending that weekend): trees! We were all a bit apprehensive of paint spattered jumpers and floors when Jenny first said she was going to do ‘tree painting with a stick’ but it worked really well.  Our budding artistic younger guests were neat and tidy with their paintings, eager to use palette knives and the blunt end of a paint brush to make their works of art, rather than the conventional way.

Susan is one of the very talented artists at the market.  She regularly does water colour and acrylic painting for cards and frames and takes custom orders.  For week three, Susan very kindly offered to design her own ‘spot the difference’ sheets. It was a very busy morning, with the children not wanting to leave until they had coloured in the drawing as well as finding all the differences.

Week four was Louise’s upcycling craft.  Armed with painted yogurt pots, toilet rolls, bottle tops, buttons and lots of bits and pieces she came up with the idea of either making bird feeders or wind chimes.  All yogurt pots were duly prepped with a hole in the bottom for threading.  The best made plans are always there for being turned upside down!  It seemed that day that everyone wanted to make a boat from their yogurt pot!  (Only problem being the leaky hole in the bottom!)

BH craft 3

Kim stepped in at the last minute to help us with week five.  Kim used to run a local Beaver group and she bubbles over with crafty inspiration and ideas.  Inspired by some colouring sheets she found when out shopping the week before, Kim helped the younger guests make themselves a wall plaque from a paper plate, toilet roll and more.

Our summer finale was the ‘Sunflower competition’. Open to all- customers and producers alike- the idea was to cook, craft or grow something along the ‘sunflower’ theme.  Entries were put on the front table and customers and producers were able to vote for their favourite during the morning.  When all the votes were counted, M won the under 5’s (with a sunflower crafted from a paper plate), C won the under 16s (with sunflower iced homemade fairy cakes) and Penny won the adults (with a water colour sunflower painting).

Having little events and crafts for children certainly gave the market a ‘buzz’ over the summer.  This year our activities were much better attended than those in 2017.  It is really encouraging to see the children’s smiles when they proudly walk out of the market clutching what they made.  The grandparents, especially, were very appreciative of our efforts- six weeks is a long time to look after an under 10 for when you are not used to it and so to have something already organised (no shopping/prep/cleaning up to do) for an hour a week is a bonus.  

We’d certainly encourage other markets to follow suite, even if it is just some colouring pages and pencils for school holiday weeks.  Our next children’s event is October half term week (2nd Nov), when we are planning a ‘Fireworks competition’ and Halloween craft 😊

 

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!

WANTED!

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

What has happened in your market recently?

Can you let me know?

Any funny stories?

Any big failures with baking?

Any great successes?

Anything!

Just send to publicity@country-markets.co.uk and we can include it on this website!

 

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!