Highcross market

December 19, 2011

More than probably you want to steer clear of Leicester – or any other  – city centre this week, but if you do find yourself forced into last minute shoppping on Thursday it might be worth taking a look at  Highcross which is holding a Christmas speciality farmers’ market from 11 to 6pm. Now whether or not this conforms to strict definitions of a farmers’ market ( see Matt Gregory’s views on this) I don’t know, I’ve not seen a stallholder listing and it may be full of over-priced gimicky stuff, but you never know it might be a good chance to get something special.   And if it gives small traders and craft producers a chance to access the wallets of Highcross shoppers , then I’m all for it.

Market Futures

March 19, 2010

The announcement of plans to demolish and maybe rebuild Leicester’s indoor market comes a few days after reports of the difficulties faced by the city’s Farmer’s Market, relaunched last year on the first Thursday of the month.  Fees appear to have increased from nothing in the old covered market to some £475 a few yards away on Humberstone Gate. In April they have to shift around the corner because of an event by a religious group.

Interim plans are for the indoor market to relocate to stalls outside with refrigerated units, described tantalisingly in the Leicester Mercury as  “similar to those in London’s Borough market”.  It’s a bit much to expect foodie destination-shopping of that variety,  but I do at least hope that somewhere within Leicester City Council someone has a long view here to developing a thriving local food economy.  The indoor market is indeed rather shabby and retailers and suppliers both  here and at the Farmer’s Market need reassurance that they will be supported in bringing quality local produce to city centre shoppers. Food festival - Leicester Market

The fish, meat and cheese retailers at the indoor market can be  mainstream alternatives to supermarket shopping. Events such as last November’s food festival (being repeated twice this year) suggest there is an interest and demand beyond for more specialist stuff too. Both sectors  needs a permanent and attractive environment if they are to thrive.

Farmers’ Market

December 2, 2009

Quick reminder for Leicester-based folk – the relaunched Farmers’  Market is in town tomorrow, Thursday, and should offer lots of opportunity to stock up for Xmas. There’s  a funfair parked on Humberstone Gate so for this month only the stalls will be found round the corner on Gallowtree Gate.

Market forces

November 5, 2009

Farmers market 107

Made a lightning guerrilla raid in a spare 15 minutes to Leicester’s relaunched Farmers’ Market (see post on 25 October). First signs were very positive. It felt a lot more special in its new home and even at 10am appeared to be creating a lot of interest. First purchase was some Egremont Russets (see left – how do ya like dem apples?), the arrival of which is always a highlight of the year for me – though I admit I’m happy to just look at how beautiful they are. Then it was along to the Pick’s farm stall for a couple of dexter burgers (see 31 October). I also picked some value items for autumn evening comfort eating – pork ribs and some dainty little pieces of dexter oxtail. Brockleby’s farm is another stalwart of these events and I got some lamb fillet from their flock of rare breed Jacob sheep.

Farmers market 097

With a bit more time I would have investigated some fantastic looking bread, smoked trout, Lincolnshire Poacher cheese, and some of the tasty-looking game (below). Talking briefly with some of the traders they seemed optimistic about the new site. Would be interested to know how the figures stacked up by the end of the day. Did anyone rock along at lunchtime – how did it look?

Farmers market 105

Farmers’ Market relaunch

October 25, 2009

Intersting to see the city’s Farmer’s Market is being moved away from its position in the middle of the main retail market to a new position on Humberstone Gate.  Being surrounded by a huge range of apparently similar but  much cheaper stuff was also a tough proposition for the farmers and smallholders trying to make a pitch for the foodie pound, and to this outsider it never really seemed to take off in the way I understand Melton’s and Loughborough’s have. Many reasons for that of course, but I would think giving it a space of its own might be a smart move, lending  distinctiveness and attracting the shopper who found wandering though our market a little too stressful. The date has changed too – now being on the first Thursday of the month, starting on 5th November. We’re promised game and poultry, bread, cakes, cheese, ice-cream, eggs, beer, cider, chillis, fish (locally sourced? really? Could be trout I s’pose), preserves, honey, pies,ready meals, plants. soap and, erm,  dog-biscuits.

Recommendations welcome.

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