What makes a winning farmers’ market?
It was really interesting to hear how Stroud Farmers’ Market made a special effort to improve the way they do things, which helped them win the Market of the Year award earlier this year.
With the closing date for this year’s awards getting closer, we caught up with the team to find out what they love about this industry and what winning has done to help the market.
Why did you decide to enter these awards?
An award is an important accolade which gives confidence in what you do and how you do it. I entered because I felt it was time to remind our customers and townsfolk that we have the best farmers’ market in the country.
How did you feel when you found out you had won the award?
I was delighted to find out we had won the best farmers’ market award as I had made a special effort to improve the way we do things after not winning the year before.
How has winning helped your business?
Winning has had many benefits for all involved with the market. The publicity is so valuable and a national win reached people from all over the country who have then come and visit, benefitting the market and also the whole of Stroud. The market plays a key role in the sustainability of our town and this award will help drive customers to us.
What is so special about the Farm Shop & Deli industry?
The Farm Shop and Deli industry is focused on the small, artisan food producer as opposed to the mega food businesses that fill the shelves of most of our supermarkets. For me this important difference is that small producers generally use more natural ingredients and less additives than the big boys. They are working in an industry they love and that comes across in the products they produce. Another important aspect is that these artisan producers are much more likely to source their raw materials locally and if not locally, then ethically. It’s not all about profits; it’s all about quality!
What advice would you give to those considering entering in 2017?
My advice would be to have a good look at your operation; where is it weak, where is it strong? Then take action to make it the best it can possibly be. Never forget to focus on your customers though because it will be their support that will help you achieve what you want.
Could you be the next winner?
Tell us a little more about your business and you could be shortlisted, or even win in the 2017 awards. Enter the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2017 before Friday 20th September.