By Ben Cornwell

Entering a farmers’ market can be an almost overwhelming feeling. Your eyes are drawn to the explosion of colours at the fruit and veg stall whilst the smells of cheese and freshly made bread begin to waft tantalisingly up your nose. It may not be somewhere you would necessarily want to purchase your weekly shopping, but it is perfect if you plan on cooking something special or want to get a nice cut of meat for a Sunday roast with the family.

CREDIT: Dave Young

St Leonards opened its first-ever farmers’ market on Friday 25 February, in the outside yard of Tommy’s Pizzeria. A week later than planned, thanks to Storm Eunice postponing the grand opening. It is unsurprisingly difficult to run a market if the produce and stalls are flying down Norman Road.

Mark Edwards, co-owner of Tommy’s Pizzeria, told HIP that they wanted to make sure the market covered what he considered to be the four main bases – fish, meat, fruit & vegetables and dairy. Everything somebody would need to make a lovely delicious meal over the weekend. With both Cheese on Sea and Rock-a-Nore Fisheries already on board (both were regularly trading from stalls in the yard last year), they decided to approach St Leonards Grocery and Pigsmith butchery to see if they would be interested in helping bring a fully-fledged farmers’ market to St Leonards.

On top of the stalls run by the four main traders, Tommy’s Coffee Shack will be selling fresh wood-fired sourdough at the market as well as coffee, pastries and bacon sarnies for any locals to enjoy while they peruse the produce on offer. They will also have guest stalls from time to time if they consider them to be the right fit for the market. Angus Deenon and his Jhalmuri Express stall were on hand on Friday to offer delicious Jhalmuri cones to warm up any hungry passers-by.

CREDIT: St Leonards Farmer’s Market

 “We’ve always wanted to do it, and we felt it was something that would be well received by the community around us,” Mark said.

“We had a good turnout on Friday for the opening, and there was a really nice atmosphere. So, it was an encouraging first day, and hopefully, it will just continue to grow from there.”

The market will be open every Friday from 10am-1pm. You can find out more information and updates about the market on their Instagram page @stleonardsfarmersmarket

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.