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Community markets thrive beyond the pandemic

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During the pandemic, when the need for strong local communities became ever more paramount, a small group of local producers came to the forefront and began hosting small markets in various community car parks and locations around Gloucestershire.

This band of brothers fueled by a desire to keep their small local businesses afloat alongside a keen sense of providing high quality, local produce to people’s immediate surroundings has become something that has grown and stuck as the world around us slowly forges its way back to normality.

On various weekday mornings in the Stroud Valleys you can find a market offering artisan bakery goods by  Salt Bakehouse, free-range meat by Bisley Lane Farm, fresh fish offered by The Fine Fish Company, delicious home-cooked Italian and Jamaican food by Mama’s Family Food, cheese by local producers and not forgetting that all-important cup of fresh coffee by both The Box and The Coffee Lada. 

jess | Community markets thrive beyond the pandemic
Jess, with her dogs Piper & Aro) Catherine Harder Photography

Of course, we know how fortunate we are to have Stroud Farmer’s Market as a regular slot on a Saturday, however, these smaller, community-focused markets offer something that little bit different.

Here you can meet friends for a coffee whilst purchasing your weekly essentials without fighting the hustle and bustle of a busy town centre.

The older generation can access these markets by taking a stroll from their homes, whilst parents can pick up a few bits and pieces on either side of dropping children off at our local schools.

As the world of work gradually returns to the office many people use it as an opportunity to pick something up on the way whilst others continuing with working from home pop out during their morning break. 

queue 2 | Community markets thrive beyond the pandemic
Catherine Harder Photography

Speaking with some of the proprietors of these premises they feel it has offered something to their community that was not previously there and are very much keen for them to continue. Susie Andrews from The Painswick Centre said: “This all started out of necessity in lockdown, but it’s turned into something in its own right. It’s wonderful to bring incredibly local produce straight to the community, it’s obvious people really want that, but the market now also acts as a social hub for the village.”

salt | Community markets thrive beyond the pandemic
Catherine Harder Photography

Local Painswick resident Jess (pictured with her dogs Piper & Aro) said: “I want to support businesses that are local, free-range and sustainable. I used to drive around all over the place to try and find what I wanted, so it’s great to be able to come here and get things I couldn’t buy in a supermarket. It’s a lovely little half an hour before I start my day picking up all the goodies.”

fish | Community markets thrive beyond the pandemic
Catherine Harder Photography

Cllr Robin Layfield spoke highly of the markets: “We really welcome community markets in our towns and villages. The Rodborough Friday morning market has made such a difference locally, with regular attendance, lots of people browsing and chatting, and parents walking up from school drop-off first thing in the morning to have a coffee and buy fresh, local, quality provisions for the week ahead.”

Tuesdays:
Box Village Hall 8:15-9:45 Salt Bakehouse, The Coffee Lada
Stonehouse Woolpack Car Park 8:15-9:45 Salt Bakehouse

Wednesdays: 

The Old Neighbourhood Car Park, Chalford 8:15-9:45 Salt Bakehouse, The Fine Fish Company

Thursdays:

The Painswick Centre 8:15-9:45 Bisley Lane Farm,  Salt Bakehouse, The Fine Fish Company, Mama’s Family Food, The Box Coffee, Wick Street Farm, Whistler Blooms, Golden Sheep Coffee

Leonard Stanley 10-11am Godsells Cheese, Salt Bakehouse, The Fine Fish Company, The Coffee Lada

Fridays:

Rodborough Community Hall 8:15 – 10am Bisley Lane Far, The Fine Fish Company, Salt Bakehouse

Saturdays:

Stancombe Beech Farm Shop 8:45 – 1pm Bisley Lane Farm

 www.bisleylanefarm.com

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