Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bath Farmers Market

You may buy now have noticed that Sarah and I have a slight food and coffee obsession! Don't panic, we'll be covering all independent businesses in time but for now let me tell you about one of Bath's greatest foodie success stories.

Bath farmers market, held in Green Park Station every Saturday is one of the best success stories Bath has to offer. It was the very first farmers market in the UK, set up in the mid 90s, and is today stronger than ever.

It's the diversity of the traders here that always surprises me. From the butchers and bakers you would expect to see, via the also to be expected cheese makers and green grocers to Jeffery serving wine and oysters at his pop-up oyster bar and Zoe the herbalist who brings years of nursing experience to her herbal medicine practice, there is something for everyone and still enough choice to properly whet your appetite.

The really great thing about this market is that it highlights, in one setting, the fact that having a great product, and being passionate about it really is the key. It was heartening to see such a thriving, vibrant market with traders really selling their products to loyal and new customers alike. Eddie at Round Hill Roastery was doing a roaring trade and still found time to give me flavour notes on all the blends they were selling. The Thoughtful Bread guys accommodated my dithering and helped me towards a delicious onion sourdough whilst serving known regulars, and my pastry love-in with Lovett Pies was delightful (as too was the pie by the way: sweet potato, squash & spinach with goats cheese and plum chutney if you were wondering).

As Sarah and I go through the process of  organising the first Independent Bath Awards we talk a lot about the criteria and how we want the judges to approach their task. One thing is becoming very clear to me: over and above the creative techniques all of Bath's independents need to employ in the dirty business of marketing (I can say that, I am a marketing manager), it is the simple strategy of loving your product and knowing and caring about your customers that sets independent businesses apart, a million miles apart in fact, from the high street. And I hope this is the essence that comes across in this blog - that Sarah and I are simply in awe of you all for creating businesses around your passions. 

As we work on the finer details of the awards we would love to hear from you if you think we have missed anything (or anyone!)or if you have any ideas. In the immortal words of my guilty pleasure McFly "it's all about you".
Eddie from Round Hill Roastery grinding my coffee
Green Park Station
Lovely Lovett Pies

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