I'm really happy to support the market and do go there whenever I remember. I'd echo other people's thoughts -the opening hours are too limited. An earlier start and a really good coffee stall would be a bonus.
Also Bermondsey Square can be a souless and huge space, always seems to have a biting wind whipping around it. I've thought that the stalls might come a little closer together in a huddle to make it seem less sparse.
I've had some grumpy service there too and one chap downright aggressive (think he was selling jam or honey), and have spoken to stall holders who don't seem to know much about the produce they're selling.
It kinda needs a bit more oomph it that makes sense, so it doesn't feel like a few traders standing shivering and having a disappointing day.
Hope this is constructive. I'm happy to leaflet neighbours etc.
I think the market is great, but I do think longer hours, more marketing, and even holding it on a Saturday and Sunday might help. It would also help if the stall holders created a bit of a network with the Maltby Market. The two markets have very different produce and could work together to increase the flow of clientele. Not sure if it would work, but maybe worth a try. Especially as Maltby Street Market has had so much press, it seems that everyone could benefit. Does this make sense?
It's just me, and I can't remember if I've said this before, but like a lot of people Saturday morning is usually my first chance to catch up on the weeks sleep deficit and by the time I surface and sort of get it together it's all over at Bermondsey Square.
Maybe others are different but my feeling is if it didn't shut so early it would do better but I guess you are all early morning farmer types and have been up for hours by midday anyway so it's probably no good for you.
Having read through all the responses so far...
The best idea is definitely to change it to Sunday.
I realise Sunday is not a great day for food shopping, but at least there would be no competition. Plus, most of Bermondsey street shops are also open on Sunday.
If this is not a viable option for the traders, then there are two alternatives that could work.
The first is marketing, of which, as far as I can tell... there has been none!
I did find an e-article by London Farmers Market, which was enlightening.....
"London Farmers Markets put an estimated £250 million back into to the local economy each year. Working in partnership with igloo Regeneration Partnership, London Farmers Markets (LFM) brings ten years of experience of running Certified farmers markets to Bermondsey Square. The market will provide a fantastic choice of seasonal produce straight from the farmer including delicious organic and outdoor reared meat, game in season, dairy, juices, hand made preserves, herbs, home made pies, cakes and savouries, free range eggs, and the freshest vegetables, fruit and salads.
This new market sees the food business returning to Bermondsey, which by the end of the 19th Century was one of the main industries in the area - earning it the nick-name “London's Larder”.
That all sounds yummy and inspiring, however... the description fits the Borough and Maltby market better.
On further research... I found the LFM website, which features 22 markets across London, from Blackheath to Parsons Green. However, it does not mention Bermondsey (Caledonian) Square.
Have the traders pulled out of this scheme? What happened to the support from Igloo?
It is obvious that you are desperately in need of support. Likewise, the Antiques market, also seems to get smaller every week.
People will only go - where there is good choice, atmosphere and plenty of bustle.
The square is very open to the elements, especially the wind. And the design is very minimalist, if not cold!
Is there anyway of approaching Igloo, Southwark and the resident shop retailers to discuss the possibility of a cover?
On an much simpler note....
Signage is much needed. In the right places.
And a local leaflet drop would help too.
I am a graphic designer, and have worked in marketing, advertising and promotions for many years. If you need a hand... I would be happy to help.
Thank you one and all for your comments. We are planning to discuss them this weekend and I hope will organise banners and leaflets in the coming weeks.
Please continue to support and spread the word.
You can guarantee the products you buy from the market as they have been grown/reared by the people selling them.
All our meat is reared on our farm so I can guarantee no contamination. They are as they say on the tin!! Mince is 100% meat. Sausages are as they say, the lamb and beef do not have pork in them. WE ONLY SELL QUALITY!
All the veg and fruit sold is grown on the three farms that attend. Joanne harvests the veg at Perry Court as does Paul from Brockmans and Brambletye have amazing apples that they cold press themselves to make the fantastic tasting juice. Chat to them if you have any questions.
I would definitely not want the market to move to Sunday. I have been going virtually every week since the market started and wouldn't be able to attend on a Sunday. Therefore a move away from Saturday would mean I couldn't support the market.