Cullompton Farmers' Market
Double winners of the Devon Life Food & Drink Awards as the Best Farmers Market in Devon 2009 and 2010, and finalists in 2011, 2012 and 2013, as voted by our customers.
Monthly farmers’ markets have been held in Cullompton since 10 June 1998 and each of them has been equally well attended and as successful as the first. Local people regularly attend the market as they know they can purchase fresh, quality food. The number of stalls has been increased over the years and new items have been added to the already wide range of produce. The markets have a unique atmosphere helped by events such as music provided by local musicians and children’s activities in the children’s corner.
Refreshments are available, provided by volunteers for the benefit of the market. People are often seen chatting to neighbours who they would normally rush past in a supermarket. The farmers market was originated by the community and certainly has a community feel.
A farmers’ market is where local produce is sold to local people. All of the stall holders at the market have traveled less than 30 miles and are selling produce they grew, reared or created themselves. Cullompton Farmers Market was the first farmers market to be started in the South West. It is also the only one in the country to be set up by volunteers and not a local authority.
The idea of setting up a farmers’ market in Cullompton was that of Tracy Frankpitt of Peverstone Cheese. “We wanted to sell our award winning cheese
at the first farmers’ market in Bath but they said we were too far away. The Cullompton Regeneration Group was looking for something that would bring more people into the town and I suggested we started our own farmers’ market.”
Farming is very hard at the moment and many farmers are diversifying in order to survive. The farmers taking part in the market have learned marketing and retail skills and also had contact with the end users of their produce. Some had never sold direct before but are now planning box schemes and farm shops. The organisers of Cullompton farmers market have been helping other Farmers Markets start up.
Other farmers markets include Okehampton, Honiton, Crediton, Holsworthy, Plymouth, Totnes and Exeter. Tracy Frankpitt said, “We are working together to make sure that all Farmers’ Markets across Devon are a success both for the farmers and local people”. Cullompton Farmers’ Market is held in the Higher Bullring, High Street, Cullompton, on the second Saturday in each month, 9.30am to 12.30pm.