Exeter Farmers Market Has Something For Everyone
Every Thursday from 9am to 2pm the Exeter Farmers Market takes place on the corner of South Street and Fore Street. This week we went along to speak to some of the traders and peruse the goods on offer.
Whether you’re doing your weekly shop or trying to find the best ingredients for tonight’s dinner, everything you need can be found at the Farmers Market. There are roughly fifteen stalls selling everything from artisan bread to alliums, with fresh eggs, homemade honey and free range meat in between. A number of the producers have been selling at the market for almost twenty years.
Sue, the owner of Sue’s Farmhouse Baking, has been coming to Exeter Farmers Market for eighteen years. She supplies an excellent selection of freshly baked sponges, fruit tarts, biscuits and more. Customers can also chat to her about cakes baked to order from her farmhouse kitchen. Sue says,
I enjoy coming to Exeter Farmers Market. It used to be a lot bigger with a larger variety of local produce. It is a shame that it has got smaller over the last few years but hopefully it will grow again.
The traders need more people to support local, independent businesses and suppliers in order to ensure the continuing success of Exeter Farmers Market. All products are of the highest quality and come from Exeter and neighbouring areas.
At the stall just next to Sue’s, an assortment of golden pies from Farmhouse Pies and Pasties caught our eye. Their selection prove to be very popular with customers with one lady describing the duck and orange pie as ‘the best pastry you’ll ever taste!’ All of the meat and vegetables that make up their fillings are sourced locally and they make the pastry from scratch. It really is the best pie that money can buy!
Another trader who has witnessed the Farmers Market steadily decrease in size is Will from Bread Of Devon. He has been coming to the market every week for roughly thirteen years and says,
The market has shrunk a lot in size, partly due to the financial crash and also the change in location. However, I think it is now on the up once again and we are seeing a steady increase in the number of customers coming along each week.
When asked about whether more people are now buying local produce he replied,
Yes and no. Shopping habits have changed. The older generation used to come along to the market every week in order to do their weekly shop. Now people tend to shop at the market when they want ingredients for one specific meal. The younger generation are buying local produce but still getting the bulk of their food from supermarkets.
There is definitely a growing market for local, fresh produce. We can see from the fact that there is now more competition. Artisan bakers are popping up everywhere. While this may make or job harder it is still good to see.
It is also really good to see new producers coming along to the market. Taylor from Bake Free has been coming for exactly two years. He had a mouth watering selection of cakes from fruit loaves to lemon drizzle and even a peanut butter brownie! As if that wasn’t enough, all of his bakes are gluten free. As well as cakes, he can provide cookies, quiches and a variety of savoury snacks. Taylor told us,
I really enjoy selling at the Exeter Farmers Market and getting to chat to lots of different people. I would love for more people to know about it, so its great that Grow are featuring it.
If anyone was looking for beverages as well as food, you can be sure the market has that too. Nestled amongst the various food stalls is Exeter Brewery, known for producing high-quality real ales. They have had a stall at the market for five years and love seeing different people every week. At their stall you can buy a mixed bottle pack containing all the local favourites such as Lighterman, Avocet and Ferryman. All their beers are brewed in Exeter and a number of them are organic. Avocet for example has been a favourite right from the start and is made with three different varieties of organic hop.
Of course, being called Grow, we have a huge love of plants and flowers so Gardener’s Delight Nursery quickly caught our attention. They are a family-run plant nursery based in Barnstaple and have been trading at the market for twelve years. We tucked into their stall when sheltering from the rain and were blown away by the array of colours and scents. There were plants and flowers of all shapes and sizes, our personal favourite were the alliums. We spoke to Hannah about the market and she said,
I really enjoy selling here at the market. We come along every week and have now built up a very loyal base of customers.
There really is something for everyone at the Exeter Farmers Market. All of the traders sell high-quality produce and are happy to chat about where their ingredients come from and cater to your needs. We would encourage everyone to go along and see what the producers have to offer, we should all support local businesses whenever we can. Having moved to new offices just down the road we will certainly be popping along on a Thursday for a tasty lunch or even to stock up the fridge!
Photographs by Livi Woosey