Buckfastleigh Farmers' and Local Produce Market
Town Square Area adjacent to the Globe Public House
Submitted by: Helen La Trobe
an excellent regular weekly social event, this market brings people from all around and gives the town its busiest day of the week, to the delight of other local businesses
The market is situated in the delightful town of Buckfastleigh in the heart of Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor and within easy reach Devon's beautiful south coast. It offers the opportunity to taste the delights of distinct local foods and meet members of this friendly local community. It is a very special market being distinct in its wide range of produce, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy produce, preserves, craft items, organic bread and a range of organic and fair trade products.
The market is also distinct in that it continues weekly throughout the year, allowing producers and their customers with ongoing support for one-another: a frequent shopping alternative for fresh local products for the community, and a weekly sales outlet for producers. Also, stall frames and covers were made by a local teepee maker, ensuring that money remained within the local area, benefiting its vitality and viability.
The market is managed by Richard who, concerned that the town lacked a "heart," developed the market to fill that role and encourage people to visit the town to strengthen its local economy. To that end, it seems he is being very successful.
What Makes Buckfastleigh Farmers' and Local Produce Market a Great Place?
The market is a central meeting place, easily accessible from nearby A38 and can also be reached by local bus services. Other attractions in the area help to provide an enjoyable and rewarding day-out for visitors.
The Town Square is brought alive with colour and vitality on market-day. The enclosed design of the market, as opposed to linear, provides a safe area for children and a more sociable space for producers and customers alike.
Along with farmers, community members are also invited to sell home-grown produce when their gardens have been particularly fruitful.
Another unique feature is that Richard has resurrected some annual local fairs: the Lamb Tail Pie Day in June and the Pear Pie Day in September, which are thought to have died out around WWI. The two fairs now once again bring people together to enjoy community activities. Harvest Festival is also not to be missed, and the vicar brings school children along to show them the "real" food at the market and learn about where it's come from and how it's produced.
People gather to shop in a sociable and relaxing atmosphere. The local church provides teas and coffees, and the seating area enables people to relax and soak up the friendly atmosphere. Old and young people alike enjoy the opportunity to meet those who produce their food, while the producers themselves enjoy the social atmosphere and the chance to spend hours away from their farms and fields. The market continues throughout the year enabling customers and producers to really get to know one another, building trust and loyalty for a long-term relationship.
Richard Rogers, market manager