Harkstead Farmers Market

Atmosphere Key At Farmers' Market 

Two primary schoolboys are looking to enjoy the sweet taste of success at one of the oldest farmers’ markets in Suffolk. 

Jack and Oliver set up a confectionary stall at Harkstead Farmer's Market every third Saturday of the month and are developing business skills, while make money for video games.

Their mum and dad enjoy a cup of tea and bit of cake inside the village hall while their boys learn about stock control, budgeting, and people skills.

The Chelmondiston primary school pupils only moved to England from Spain last year and so have had to get their heads around pounds and pence coins and notes, after being brought up on Euros.

Gifts from a vintage sweet shop owner from Yorkshire got the budding entrepreneurs on the way and the pair also set up at St Michael’s monthly market at Woolverstone, with the profits going back into stock and buying video games for their downtime.

Jack and Oliver are the youngest stall holders at the Harkstead farmer's market, which is closing on its 20thanniversary and is as popular today as it ever been. 

Tony Leeson, one of the organisors, puts the continued success down to the combined efforts of the sellers, volunteers and regular customers.

“There is a lovely atmosphere here,” said Tony. “It is all very relaxed, people come and have a drink and bit of cake, enjoy a chat and then go round and buy what they need.”

First time stall holder Tracey Bacon, whose Tropic skin care stall focuses on natural ingredients in its products, was also struck by the warm atmosphere.

“It has been lovely coming here,” said Tracey. “People have been very friendly and shown a lot of interest. I will definitely be back again.”   

Others, such as East End Butchers, have been long-time regulars and believe customers relish locally produced, fresh foods, combined with the welcoming atmosphere.

The range is wide with meats, cheeses, baked goods and ‘Holy’ honey from Holbrook, alongside high quality, bespoke chocolate, jams and, of course Jack and Oliver’s selection of sweets.

While there are the regular foodstuffs, each market brings with it seasonal fruit and veg, while cuttings and pot plants for sale. adorn the
 car park

Non-food stuff includes a stall of cleverly carved wood, salvaged from storm damaged woodlands and make up products.

A delicate mix of smells and the gentle buzz of conversation adds to the wonderfully friendly atmosphere at the market which runs from 9am – 12noon.

The money raised from selling stalls, home-made bread, cakes, and biscuits, goes towards running the village hall, the Good Neighbours scheme and the church.

But, like many community organisations they are in need of young blood and anyone interested in getting involved, or would like to book a stall, can contact Tony or Sarah: smacker00@yahoo.com.

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