A SELECT number of stallholders were delighted to be back at a town centre farmers’ market yesterday.
The Havelock Street Farmers’ Market returned after being cancelled for two months over a lack of public support and poor sales forecasts for January.
Yesterday a reduced number of stalls returned to the weekly market and now organisers hope they can establish stronger roots in the town.
Liz Styan, who runs the Styan Family Produce stall, said that customer feedback had so far been positive.
“All the customers have been very pleased we are back,” she said.
“The people who come for the market really like it and I’ve always said, if everyone who comes just brought along one friend then we will be fine.”
To help drum up support for the market and to encourage more customers to come along, Liz has set up her own voucher scheme.
“From next week customers can pick up vouchers – one for them and one for a friend. They get 50p off for every £3 they spend.
“All we need is everyone to spend a pound and to bring along a friend who will spend a pound.”
Some stallholders, such as Rose Webster, still feel Swindon is a good place to run a market.
Rose, who runs the Glastonbury Dairy stall, said: “I think there is a lovely atmosphere here and the people who come here love to have a market.
“This market is quite good but it just lacks support.”
The market, which takes place from 9am to 2.30pm every Thursday in Havelock Square outside Iceland, was brought back last October by popular demand.
But despite the initial excitement and steady flow of shoppers, stallholders noticed a dramatic drop in trade after the first couple of weeks.
One shopper, who did not wish to be named, put it down to high prices.
She said: “It’s brilliant to have a market in the town centre and people do want it and really enjoy it.
“I do think it’s a bit pricey. Why buy a bunch of carrots for £3 when I can get a bunch for £1 in Iceland.
“Some things there you can’t get anywhere else.”
Each week the market will sell a variety of produce.
Highlights include seasonal vegetables from Paget’s Veg and Styan’s Family Produce, orchids from Styles Nursery, farmhouse cheeses from Glastonbury Dairies, eggs from Beechwood farm, bread and cakes with a French twist from La Parisienne, and soaps and beauty products from the Soap Bar Company.