Thanks to everyone for their comments. Who'd have thought that one statement would spark so much debate. Thank you so much if you've contacted Southwark News or Southwark Life or your local Councillor. Southwark News are doing a piece this week. Southwark Life are covering the market for their February Issue. I do find it ironic that when we approached Southwark before the market started, they wouldn't promote it because it's not being run by the council!
I have a meeting next week with Southwark about signage. I hope that this dialogue will help the antiques market too.
To answer some of the questions that have been raised;
It's always a chance when we open a new market. Getting the day and time right, in addition to the location can be a gamble. We opened in November because we didn't have any other time left in the year to do it. If we hadn't opened then, it would have meant waiting until May or June this year.
Market hours. All our weekend markets are held for 4 hours. This is so farmers have time to get back to their farms, feed their animals etc and get some sleep! We'll occasionally hold longer markets, during the week or for events. In the US many markets start at 8am.
Producer lists. At the market there should be a large blackboard that lists who comes when. You can also check with the market manager. Yes, some stall holders have dropped out or cut back and we're working on replacing them.
Our website is being updated right now. All producers will have a page with info about themselves, their website, contact info etc. Every market will have a page with more accurate producer info too.
It's difficult for us to continually update who attends as some producers do change seasonally but if you want to email me/join the email list for the market I can send you a list of producers and you'll get a message once a month on average, letting you know what's going on at the market, any special offers, new products etc. The fisherman at the moment is attending on the 4th Saturday of the month, so next time will be the 27th Feb.
Any other questions or comments, please do call or email us, we're always happy to hear from you and we're glad that the market has made such a difference to the local community. We really want it to succeed. As some of you have said, once we get through the winter and hold out till Spring we'll be ok.
Perhaps one more suggestion to publicise the market - if some quality posters and/or leaflets were produced I am sure many local businesses would be happy to advertise the market, although perhaps not M&S!
I have a bar on Tooley Street and would happily promote it within my place.
Like other posters I do use the market and have even tried to buy some fresh fish for the bar menu but have been stymied by a lack of stalls/produce on occasion.
Would some of the stallholders consider trying to attract some of the smaller local businesses to shop there for produce - not quite sure how??
Hi Nigel, and anyone else who would like to source produce for your bar/ restaurant -
Before we opened we walked around the area with posters/ leaflets and I gave out cards to restaurant owners and chefs with regard to sourcing/having farmers' market menus. I've not heard anything back yet but we'd love to work with you. I can put you in direct contact with the farmers if you don't see them at market. If you'd like a poster or some leaflets we'd be happy to drop some in.