HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE turned out for the first Crystal Palace food market yesterday (Saturday).
By 1.15pm – just over three hours after the market opened – local bakers Brett and Bailey only had crumbs left on their stall.
“Absolutely overwhelmed” was Joe Brett’s reaction. “I had absolutely no idea it would be this busy, that we’d get so much support from the local community – which means a huge amount to both of us.
“Some items such as our cheese buns were sold out by 11.15 am. “Our lime and coconut squares, which we didn’t think people would dive into, also went.
“We started off at the winter market at the Alma pub. “We wrote to a lot of places in south London and a little bit further afield about stalls and didn’t get anywhere. “Either they didn’t get back to us or had too many people doing home baking. “We learned about this market quite by accident and thought ‘that’s the one we’ve got to pursue – that’s our dream pitch.’ “We’re just really, really grateful to everyone who has shown an interest.”
Matt Bailey said: “This shows a really big demand for nice quality, locally sourced food. “This market is on our doorstep and there’s nowhere we would rather sell. “Hopefully it will run and run” he added.
Brett and Bailey, one of a number of rotating bakers at the market, will be back at the market on the second and fifth Saturdays of each month with their next visits on June 8th and 29th.
Other stalls doing a roaring trade – and not put off by either the rain or one poster for the market announcing soiled goods were on sale (soiled goods – goods from the soil – geddit?) – included one selling orchard eggs and A G Brockman’s vegetable stall where manager Amy McWeeney said the energy which organisers Crystal Palace Transition Town had put in had “transformed it into an amazing first market. By 11.30 am their stall had sold out of cauliflowers, radishes, nettles, mixed salad, bags of carrots and bio dynamic yogurts. “I’ve just moved here – to Penge – so I can share the excitement” added Amy.
Other stalls at the market included Owl Kitchen (home made gluten-free baking); Jacob’s Ladder which sold meat and organic beefburgers; Bread Bread whose loaves included walnut and rye; Bees ‘n’ Beans; and Mootown cheese (Leicesterme, Leicesteryou, Leicesterday?).*
Transition Town’s Karen Jones, whose idea the market was, said: “We have had an incredible turnout from the community. “It’s just been an amazing success. “All the stallholders felt it was such a friendly and lively place to trade. “They told us there was such a community spirit – and that it felt like an established market.”
Spa Hill allotment society donated seedlings and other people turned up with plants to give to the market to sell.
Joe Duggan, who co-chairs Transition Town said: “There’s obviously a desire by the sheer amount of people and the positive feedback. “People also liked the way we supported start-up businesses.”
The market is in Haynes Lane (off Westow Street) every Saturday from 10 am to 3pm, past the entrance to Haynes Lane second-hand and collectables market you carry on to the bottom and to the left. Coming from the Harold Road side it is at the top of Bedwardine Road.
*Other items on the (Tamla) Mootown label: I was made to Gloucester (also by Stevie Wonder); Let’s get Stilton by Marvin Gaye; I’ll say Forcheddar my love (Jimmy Ruffin);
And on other labels: Churn to Stone by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra); It don’t come cheesy by Ringo Starr and the Three Degrees classic Wensleydale see you again (on the Philadelphia label – honest).