Organisers of Dumfries Farmers’ Market have hailed the relocation of the market to Dumfries Railway Station a success after more than 1200 people flocked to the Easter Sunday event.
The relocation, which has taken more than six months of planning by Dumfries Farmers’ Market volunteers and ScotRail staff, saw more than 25 local producers set up stalls under the Victorian glass pavilion on Platform 1 selling everything from locally produced pies, soups, cider and ice cream to freshly roasted coffee, locally grown plants and an eclectic mix of local crafts.
Stallholders reported unprecedented demand for local produce with several traders selling out of stock completely and others reporting sales that were twice as high as normal.
Sarah Burchell, Chair of Dumfries Farmers’ Market, thanked both local people and ScotRail for their support:
“We were absolutely thrilled to see such overwhelming support for the market from the people of Dumfries on Sunday. It’s a nerve wracking prospect moving an established farmers’ market of this size to a new location, and there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to make things run as smoothly as possible. To see so many people visit the market on Sunday was tremendously reassuring and the feedback from local people has been incredibly positive.
“A big thank you is due to ScotRail, in particular Heather Collins and George Cameron, who have been unwavering in their support. It has been a pleasure working with them to make this happen and we’re looking forward to continuing to evolve our exciting farmers’ market experience in Dumfries; one that focuses on quality, provenance and accessibility of local produce.”
Dumfries Farmers’ Market is a non-profit making organisation run entirely by volunteers. It was launched in September 2011 at Tarff Town & Country, but in recent years there have been growing requests from members of the public to move to a location that was within walking distance of Dumfries residents.
“It’s the shopping experience that makes farmers’ markets so appealing, and getting the right venue is an important part of that experience. It was clear on Sunday that the Railway Station is a stunning location for a market, both in terms of accessibility and in the logistics and atmosphere of the space.
“There was a very obvious and audible buzz of excitement about the market and I was delighted to see local people discovering and supporting their local producers.”
Local trader David Greybe from Greybe Fine Olive Products based near Dumfries said:
“What was so exciting about the success of our new market venue was it showed that there is a critical mass of people in Dumfries interested in, and prepared to support a farmers’ market in the very heart of the community. It also showed what a huge appetite there is in Dumfries for community initiatives that offer regular well-run, quality food, drink and craft events.
“The very visible and enthusiastic support from ScotRail on Sunday was a sign of genuine community partnership between a high profile, people-oriented national company and a local organisation showcasing quality food, drink and crafts by local producers and small businesses.”
Additional stalls are likely to be added over the next few months, and priority will be given to traders selling produce that is not already available at the market. Traders who want to participate in the market should email email@example.com to request an application form, and a waiting list will operate for local producers who are not offered a space immediately.