Page 32 - MarketTimesOctober2019
P. 32

       Angela then spoke to local shopkeepers who were understandably nervous about the competition from a market.
“Castle Cary has a very good high street that could serve four times the number of people living here,” said Angela. The shopkeepers wanted stalls that would complement their offer and bring footfall into the town on market day, not take business away from them.
So the task was then to find the right businesses that matched the needs of this upmarket town and complemented the existing independent shops.
The venue for the market was no problem — the cobbles and the undercroft of the former market building were the ideal location, with a road closure of Bailey Hill on market day agreed by the council, who had also decided to make parking in
the town’s two car parks free. Tuesday was chosen as market day so as not to compete with
other local markets.
All that was left was for
Angela to find the right traders and work out the how best to run the market.
“I visited local markets and got a lot of help from the retired toby from Yeovil, Joy Streetin, who understood the management side,” she said.
Angela had spent 10 years running a business importing ethic products and selling them on London markets including Greenwich, but she had never run a market before.
Joy managed the market for two years, and Angela is now the manager after Joy died. And, unlike the farmers’ market that preceded it, the new Castle Cary market has proved a big success.
“Our first market was held in
Angela Piggott manages Castle Cary market which she was instrumental in reviving five-and-a-half years ago
  Simon Gerring runs the popular cheese stall on the market
March 2014. We have had a few comings and goings but we have around 13 or 14 stalls including some core businesses who rarely miss,” she said.
And over the past five-and-a- half years the market has proved a star attraction as well as a great place to trade and shop, and a friendly community hub.
The anchor traders who have been on the market from the start say it is an excellent market, especially considering the size of the town.
Fish man Paul Hart, who was invited to stand the market by Angela, said: “It took a little time to build up but now I do very well here.”
And Karen and Shaun Brown who are one of two fruit and veg businesses on the market have not missed one market day — even in the snow.
“It’s a lovely little market,” said Karen. “It seems to bring the whole town together. The
people are so friendly and we love trading here.”
The other trader is an organic greengrocer selling very local produce, and the two businesses both do well.
Cheese man Simon Gerring is another core food trader. “I’ve been standing this market for a couple of years now,” he said. “It’s convenient for where we live but it’s a good market for us too,” he added.
As well as a hot food business, a quality bakery stall, jams and conserves and a popular cake stall, there are plenty of craft- type businesses, each with its own back-story.
Sue Adams sells Neal’s Yard and lavender products, with a proportion of her profits going to bee charities.
After being diagnosed with ME in 1997, she turned to holistic and aromatherapy products and now sells them, as well as Neal’s Yard items which are made locally.

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