The first Grayshott Market, held on Easter Saturday 19th April, was acclaimed a great success by stallholders and visitors alike. Organised by the Square Events Group and sponsored by Applegarth, the Grayshott farm shop and restaurant centre, the first Market had well over 1000 visitors. It was officially opened by Ferris Cowper, Leader of the East Hampshire District Council, who ‘cut the ribbon’ at 10.00am, proclaiming it a significant initiative for Grayshott as a village and, for the stallholders, an exciting opportunity.
Every stallholder without exception said they had exceeded their expectations and in many cases sold out of produce before the Market closed. Sushi maker Yasu Minowa was out of stock by lunchtime commenting “I never expected it to be so busy, busier than all the other markets I’ve been to. Next time, I will be better prepared”.
Sudha Rai of Grayshott’s Nepalese restaurant The Gurkha Durbar said that at first she and her husband Mani were dubious about the idea of a food market, but all their fears were allayed. “ We introduced typical Gurkha snack food in the form of chicken and lamb wraps – I just couldn’t make them fast enough” she claimed. Adding that their other food sold like proverbial hot cakes.
Grayshott Village Archives used the Market to launch John Hill’s book ‘We Will Remember Them’, which details the lives and service record of each person inscribed on Grayshott’s War Memorial. Phil Bates, Chairman of the Archives believes that John Hill’s book is a unique work that will live on for many hundreds of years and a real treasure for the Village. BBC South Today’s report can for a while be viewed on iPlayer here http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b041d23q/?t=42s
Grayshott’s Cooperative Supermarket entered into the spirit of the day by putting a small stall outside the front of their store with samples of cheeses, speciality breads, truely irresistible cookies and cakes to try. They also sponsored a raffle that raised £140 for Grayshott’s Little Sunflowers Nursery. The raffle was drawn by Rev Moray Thomas, Chairman of the Square Events group.
The next Grayshott Market is to be held on Saturday May 17, when even more food stalls will be present.
Whilst tastes were the main attraction and draw for visitors to the Market, there was also a selection of arts and crafts; handmade jewellery, prints, frames, fashion accessories plus cards and coasters. They provided a chance for Market visitors to browse while enjoying some of the tasty morsels on offer.
Tim Tinsley-Wickes, the Organiser of the Market believes that the key to the success of the first Market has been teamwork, not just of those giving their invaluable time making sure that the day went smoothly, but the way the whole Village of Grayshott was behind the idea. “We will continue to develop the concept of the Market adding new tastes from other countries and encouraging existing stallholders to add something new and different each time to their offerings”.
The main sponsor of the Grayshott Market is Applegarth. Applegarth has a thriving restaurant and farm shop selling a wide range of locally sourced and specialist fine food products. It aims to break the mould of faceless high street shopping by providing a personal and unique centre. Commenting on the Market, Will Benson, Managing Director of Applegarth says” We are over the moon at the success of the Market and are more than happy to continue with our sponsorship – it is a very worthwhile venture that’s good for the whole Village and has our full support”.