all but deserted Guildford farmers market
Last night heavy rain all night. This morning still very wet. The day was warm and humid.
Cappuccino off FCB kiosk on Platform 2 Guildford Station. A new girl doing the coffee, nevertheless, she made a decent cappuccino.
FCB and Harris + Hoole occupy the top coffee slots in Guildford. Surrey Hills Coffee a distant third. Caracoli a laughing stock whilst clueless manger who is ignorant on coffee. Forget the chains with their disgusting undrinkable coffee.
As a result of stopping for a coffee and a long chat, arrived about hour and a half later than I had intended at the farmers market. Had it been in the High Street, there would have been nothing left, but located where it is, in a car park, the producers arrive with their produce, then take it back.
Even though I was late, there was actually more people than I have seen at this location. By no means busy, but at least not deserted.
Observing, most of the business appeared to be between stalls, lack of customers meant they had time to wander around.
Each time I visit, more stalls have dropped out. Noticeable by their absence, honey, tomatoes, garlic, fish cakes, sea food, pies, potting plants, beer, wine, fruit and vegetables, ice cream, and that is only a few I could mention.
Having had a wander around I decided upon a grilled sausage, only it was not cooked. I said I would pop back when cooked.
Apple stall, no apples yet, but had jam. I picked out strawberries, jam and an apple juice with ginger. He put them to one said to pick up later.
A stall I do not normally drop by, Ollo Foods, mainly because pickles and chutneys, of which I have no interest. They were about to pack up, and asked would I like to try what they had left which had just been cooked. Is it hot? Yes. OK.
I had a dosa. It was excellent. They served on a paper plate.
Dosa is an Indian dish from south India. A sort of pancake made with rice. Near Euston Station, down the back streets, are Indian restaurants, where sometimes I have dosa. They are stuffed.
I then remembered. The sausage. I went back.
By now full.
How often does Environmental Heath visit the farmers market? I have never seen a visit.
If a supermarket had a delivery of poultry or meat, left outside for hours, questions would be asked. Why then is it ok on a farmers market, poultry and meat on a stall all day in temperatures above 20C? Sticking a probe into a piece of meat, reaching a minimum temperature, does not indicate that it is cooked.
Looking at the High Street, barring anything unforeseen, the farmers market should be back in the High Street for September, as the work is almost finished. But in the meantime, stallholders have lost a lot of money, lost most of their client base, and the general populace thinks the farmers market no longer exists. It is going to take many months to recover.
Today, they actually got their pitches free.
But they should have had free, or at least at much reduced rate, whilst not in the High Street.
Once back in the High Street, each stall, for the number of times they have been in the car park, should get that number of times at a reduced rate in the High Street. That is the least the council can do.
Charging High Street pitch fees when not in the High street is tantamount to fraud.
And it is complete bullshit the claim the council was losing parking fees. There are plenty of free spaces in other car parks.
There has to be something special for the next market in the High Street.
Make it a street food festival, then make it an annual event.
If Godalming can hold a highly successful street food market, then so can Guidlford. This year there was even more stalls.
Publicity is needed. and not adverting on a rubbish commercial radio station that no one listens to.
It needs editorial in local media. Posters.
A banner maybe across the High Street.
There also needs to be something special when people turn up, to encourage people to turn up.
Hampshire has goodies at some of its markets.
Have each stall donate something, the greater the donation the better. Not obligatory, but hopefully all will cooperate. Buy anything from any stall, be entered into a draw for what has been donated. Draw to take place at the end of the market.
The market has to have a coffee van serving top quality coffee. There is no excuse for not having. An obvious choice the Vintage Pop Up Tea Room found in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham on a Saturday during the summer. Or The HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean. There is also no excuse for producers drinking takeaway coffee from Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks. If nothing else, appalling hypocrisy. If they expect us to support them, then they in turn should support local indie coffee shops. The same of course applies to the market itself, support local, support quality. .
First Tuesday of September Guildford High Street?