Last week saw the launch of the first artisan food market to be held weekly in New Mills.
It features local food and drink producers, new app Marketti, and hand-sourced grocery delivery service Sauced Here.
I first met organiser Esther Morrison at Foodie Friday in Stockport, one of the events she co-ordinated involving market traders and the local community. It became a hugely successful monthly event promoting local traders and pop-up food vendors with entertainment in the form of local musical talent.
Foodie Friday not only raised the profile of Stockport, it also offered a night out for the entire family – no easy feat. Equally impressive was the launch of the Teenage Markets, which are now a national franchise encouraging young people into market trading.
So what is High Peak Food Hub? Having moved to New Mills and now working in food consultancy, Esther hopes to pull together similar ideas involving the community and local businesses whilst re-enforcing concepts such as #shoplocal and #reducefoodwaste.
It takes place in The Butterfly House in The Torrs, a colourful and eclectic community pub where local residents can meet local independent food traders under one roof and try their products.
The Hub works with Sauced Here to provide a supermarket-style delivery service for Peak District products. Over a thousand products can be ordered online and delivered to holiday cottages, campsites, homes, and now every Thursday evening to the High Peak Food Hub. Just click ‘n’ collect.
Or maybe you’re happier with an app? They’ve got that covered too. Marketti connects market, street food and festival traders to their communities. It already assists small businesses working within the markets sector, and will now enable visitors to the Hub to #shoplocal even when their lifestyles prevent them from shopping locally.
Traders like Yeasty Boys, artisan bakers based in New Mills specialising in sourdough bread; Peakbean, coffee roasters with over twelve blends of coffee all named after the surrounding areas; and Torrside Brewing, named after the 70-foot deep gorge cut by the Rivers Goyt and Sett that the town stands above and around. Shoppers can even support local projects in schools by purchasing locally grown fruit and vegatables.
Then there is Butterfly House cafe itself. Trading Thursday to Saturday, it offers a family-friendly space where kids have their own play area. On the bar sits a handful of freshly-baked cakes (the lemon polenta is very good) and they serve a decent selection of hot and cold drinks, including alcohol. Unfortunately, the cutest little dog comes with the barmaid and isn’t for sale.
Future evenings will see cookery demonstrations, producer talks, live music, and pop-up shops. It’s early days but the vibe tonight is warm and welcoming, with plenty of networking – and the possibilities seem endless.
If Esther and her collaborators can help New Mills and its businesses in the same way as she supported Stockport and its markets, the local community will only reap the benefits.
So go grab a drink, say hi to your neighbours, shop locally and ethically, and have fun every Thursday evening from 5.50pm to 7.30pm.
34 Market Street, New Mills, SK22 4AE