Page 45 - MarketTimesApril2020
P. 45

FEATURE • HEREFORD BUTTER
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   Mikey Sammars runs the market’s new cider bar which sells House of Gwatkin cider as well as other local ciders and craft beers
Antony Hill is pictured with his grandfather Charles Nicholls who started on the market in 1966. Charles reckons that in a few years the butter market will be the hub of Hereford
market, most of which has been done through social media, which is one of her fortes.
“I said to Darren that we could really do with a pop-up market on a Saturday, so we bought 20 big trestle tables and the first one was held in January 2018,” Moira said.
It was a great success and the pop-up markets, which were at first held monthly, have become quite an attraction in Hereford.
“We were particularly wanting to attract quality food businesses and this is a wonderful county for fine food,” she said.
Several of the food businesses that started on the pop-up now have permanent units on the market. As well as building new stalls, Darren has created a food court at one end of the market and among the traders is a Thai street food business which was begun from scratch on a pop-up stall.
“The Thai street food lady cooks everything from scratch and is always sold out. Fodders is another wonderful new food business. Smokey Monkey’s have also joined the market and other great new food businesses include a handmade wood-fired pizza stall open on Fridays and Saturdays.”
Moira said the last few units were now spoken for and the market is full.
“We have some MA students creating art on the first floor and the aim is to eventually open it up to the public with art exhibitions,” she said.
“The second floor will eventually be a social hub and Darren has applied for a grant to refurbish the iron and glass roof
so that he can remove the low wooden ceiling,” said Moira. The proposals include solar panels.
The transformation has been welcomed by long established traders and new recruits are looking forward to further improvements in the market.
Matus Vojtek, originally from Slovakia, a trained chef who co-owns a local pub, recently launched his new charcuterie business in the market.
“I have lived in Hereford for 14 years and the market wasn’t an attractive place so I never dreamed I would open a business there,” said Matus.
But once the changes started happening and other quality food businesses set up stall in the butter market, Matus decided it was the perfect place to launch his new enterprise.
“We source our charcuterie from eastern Europe including Hungary, Austria and Lithuania,” he said.
“There it is third or fourth generation producers making charcuterie in the traditional way, not the modern production methods in western Europe. It really is an amazing, different kind of charcuterie and we are giving people in Herefordshire a taste of something really special,” he said.
And Mikey Sammars, who manages House of Gwatkin Cider on the market, said the business had been incredibly busy since starting there nine months ago.
“We stock our own locally produced cider and also Wye Valley ales,” he said. “We were really busy in the run-up to Christmas with both sales to take away
and with people drinking in.”
There is plenty of optimism among the
traders, particularly on the food side, and a general feeling that the new owner is putting his money where his mouth is.
Charles Nicholas summed it up. “We are having a refit and expanding our unit. I have a picture of what it will look like once the ugly ceiling is removed and the roof restored and it will really make a difference. I have a good feeling that in a couple of years this market will once again be the hub of Hereford,” he said.
 FACTS & FIGURES
l Market Days: The butter market is open Monday to Saturday and the council-run outdoor market is held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
l Market Rent: £25 a day for a pop- up stall and from £75 a week for a permanent stall
l Hereford’s claim to fame: Located on the River Wye just 16 miles from the Welsh border, the cathedral city of Hereford is the county town of Herefordshire and is most famous for Hereford cattle and Bulmers cider, which is now owned by Heineken-Cider. It is world famous for cider making and also known for the quality of the local produce.
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