Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Sligo Visit July 2011

Beltra’s Birthday Bash
I’ve been honoured by an invitation to attend the 1st birthday of Beltra Country Market in Co Sligo today. This time last year Emer Duffy and myself met with a group of very determined and focussed people who had done a lot of research on setting up a local community market. Since then they have gone from strength to strength and the market has become a weekly fixture for many customers. Enthusiasm, creativity, an ever increasing variety of both produce and producers along with continuous hard work and customer care have resulted in a wonderful success story.

I arrived on Saturday morning to a buzzing market, all hands on deck. A childrens jewellery workshop was in full swing on the stage of this beautiful red galvanized hall. A group of local musicians played outside, a puppeteer entertained young and old and the crepe maker was kept busy. I spied a birthday cake at the other end of the hall, and was delighted to get a chance to meet the man who made this magnificent creation.

Master Baker Stuart

The market also ran a raffle to raise funds for repairs to the hall. The prize was a very generous hamper which members contributed to.

Anna Tolan, Regional Rep with the Hamper

Ballinacarrow Market 09/07/2011
I just made it to Ballinacarrow, our newest market as they were finishing up. It has been running since mid May and is 14 miles from Beltra. The approach signs are excellent, the market is held in the renovated Community Centre and things are going really well. There were still some customers in the coffee corner enjoying the relaxed atmosphere which is a good sign, they don’t feel pressured to leave just because things are coming to an end.

Ashling the Market Chairman is very happy with the way things are going and is looking forward to building up the customer base. There’s good variety and the producers are working hard to keep that up in both the food and craft sections. The market have already had success attending some outdoor events in the local area which is a great way to advertise within the community. I wish them well and for my next visit will be sure to get there in lots of time to talk to everybody and get some photos. Be sure to visit Ballinacarrow and support our newest market. Saturdays from 10am. 

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