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Our market at Oval is often referred to as an oasis within a dense urban setting and is a popular weekend destination for families and dog walkers. The Saturday Farmers’ Market at St Mark’s Church opposite Oval tube station opened in 2007 as a partnership between Oval Partnership, Lambeth Council and the church. In September 2017, we celebrated 10 years at St Mark’s with a special market, music and kids activities.
Situated in a serene, beautiful Georgian church garden populated with London Plane Trees it has been a storming success. Since we opened the market people have been able to shop locally buying everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to organic meat, marinated olives, cheese, honey, pies, cakes, soups, juices and lovely hot food and FairTrade coffee and much more.
It has a very social feel with friends meeting at our designated outdoor café area to eat some of the delicious food on offer – including Oriental Thai food and delicacies from Guadeloupe. If you fancy arts and crafts there are also stallholders selling items such as unique jewellery fashioned from bicycle chains.
The market has proved to be extremely popular not least with the farmers and other food producers who prefer it over other markets, but with shoppers who stagger home with bags full of shopping and come even when the weather is bad.
And of course, cricket fans who attend events at the Oval know and love our market with many popping out during Test Cricket lunch breaks for a freshly made lunch in the open before heading back for afternoon of cricket and Pimms!
City & Country Farmers Markets
The business was established in 2001 by Chris Elder who comes from a large family of food lovers and is a veteran in the food development market. His first sortie into the world of food was in 1986 when he set up a company producing high-quality vegetarian ready meals which he then sold to Cranks Restaurant chain.
By 1998 Chris had set up a consultancy advising bakeries and chilled foods companies specialising in organic production and spotted the demand from consumers to shop more locally. In a bid to meet this demand Chris set up City & Country in 2001 holding his first successful Farmers’ Market in the grounds of Dulwich College in south London.
Not long after in 2003 he was joined by his daughter Sophie who wanted to help grow the business and assist with the day-to-day running and organisation of the markets. With a degree in fashion and textiles and experience in fashion retail, Sophie runs the Arts & Crafts section of the company as well as creating her own textile pictures in her spare time.
Sophie is involved in the running of all of City & Country’s markets across London and the development and design of the company’s retail brand.
Both Chris and Sophie are ably-assisted by a close-knit team of staff including friendly Lawrence the Operations Manager and efficient local managers who can often be seen at our various markets across London.
1: We will need to ascertain whether what you make/grow/produce/sell will be right for us
The best way to find out is to send us a brief email attaching your produce list or menu (this must include ingredients which shoud be locally sourced where possible). It is also useful if you can attach photos of your produce and stall set up. If all looks good we will then send you an information pack. Please note that even if you have a great product we may not have space at the market you are interested in, in which case you will be invited to join our waiting list.
2: Provide us with samples
In the majority of cases we will require samples of your produce which will be panel tested. These can either be brought to our offices or you can arrange to drop them off at certain markets. All samples should be clearly labelled with ingredients and contact details.
3: Completing your registration
If your samples are approved and you have not already completed our registration forms you must do so now. We will need evidence you have the following:
– A Food Hygiene/Safety Certificate which is less than two years old
– A completed registration with your local council as a food producer
– Public & Product Liability Insurance up to £5 million.
If you have any queries about this please ask when you contact us.
1: We will need to approve your arts & crafts
You will need to send or email us photos of your work (and stall set up if you have any) to be okayed to start with. If you do not make the items yourself they will need to be FairTrade or similar – and we we will need as much information as possible on where they are sourced. If all is okay we will send you our information pack. NB if you make your own skincare products you will need to provide samples – please email us to arrange this.
2: Completing your registration
You will now need to complete our Registration Form and return it to us. You will also need proof of the following:
– Public Liability Insurance up to £5 million (we have further information on this if you require it). NB – You will need combined Public & Product Liability Insurance up to £5 million if you make your own skincare or similar plus proof your products have been tested.
Please click here for our contact details.
A Lovely Oval Farmers’ Market write up from Bryony Harrison of Weekend Notes
Read her review of Oval Farmers’ Market on Weekend Notes here!
None other than Mary Portas visited the Borough Market and gave a special mention to 2 of our producers, Grove Farm and Pieman! She also gave a nod to our market at Alexandra Palace!
Read the article here: Mary Portas – Borough Market review
Our Farmers’ Market at Alexandra Palace was awarded TimeOut Best Local Food Market in London 2008 and is still the current holder of the title! Great news for us and our producers… well done everybody!
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