The last 16 months hasn’t been easy for local markets and traders, but here in Bristol, things are looking up. Sophie Bowden, operator of the Finzels Reach Market, was able to change the way her market operates to make it COVID-secure, and as a result, managed to add an additional market day at Finzels Reach, Now, she’s looking for local food and drink producers who want to get involved.
In March 2020, Government restrictions meant that all markets had to close. However, with a combination of luck and determination, Sophie was able to reopen the Finzels Reach street food market in June, and it’s remained open ever since.
She explains, “Having to close our weekly Friday market was a devastating blow to our business, our traders and our customers. We were determined to do everything we could to reopen, which meant we had to completely change our way of working and adapt our market set-up to be COVID-secure.”
She adds, “In order to responsibly manage queues and give our stallholders the opportunity to trade, we decided to introduce another market day at Finzels Reach. In August we started a smaller market on a Wednesday, and we’ve not looked back”.
With lockdown restrictions easing, Sophie is looking to the future of the Wednesday market, deciding to expand the offering to include local food and drink producers alongside the street food choices for which the Finzels Reach Market has become known.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to have local produce showcased at Finzels Reach”, she says. “I’m so excited to now have the opportunity to include a regular line-up of seasonal and local produce at the Wednesday market as an addition to the street food offering”.
From September, when the new market format is set to be launched, visitors can expect to find stalls selling local bread, cheese, free range meat, fruit and veg, as well as guest stalls selling fish, game, fresh pasta, apple juice and cider – alongside, of course, the ever-changing line-up of street food. If you’re a local producer who wants to apply – or if you know any who might – contact Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.