Ely Markets gets the royal seal of approval
A rich heritage
In November 2018, we were honoured to receive a special visit by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Their Royal Highnesses were treated to a unique Ely Markets’ Showcase – which celebrated our wonderful Farmers’ Market traders and producers.
Our Farmers’ Market has been going for nearly 20 years and we’re incredibly proud that it continues to go from strength to strength. We wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses the incredible quality of our produce and how our offering has evolved over the years to include a wonderful mix of meat, seasonal produce, cakes, plants and even gin!
Ely Farmers’ Market has a great reputation for local seasonal produce, meat and fish. On their tour of the market, The Prince and The Duchess met some of Ely Farmers’ Market’s longest-serving regulars – Jane and Pete Wesley of Fen Farm Venison, Pat and Keith Jeary of Jeary’s Beef and local fishmonger David Bunnings. Rob Bousfield, of Heath Fruit Farm, shared samples of his delicious apple juice from Bluntisham, while Chris Tirrell showcased his delicious local fruit and vegetables. Carol Godfrey, of FenFlora was also on-hand to chat about all things floral and share her 18 years’ worth of memories of Ely Farmers’ Market.
There's always time for cake
You can’t have a Farmers’ Market without delicious locally-made cakes and treats. We invited two of our youngest producers along to meet Their Royal Highnesses. George Heffer, of George’s Cakes, was there with his indulgent and inventive creations. He sells 1,000 slices of cake at an average morning at Ely Farmers’ Market and was thrilled that the royal couple took home some of his salted caramel brownies! Sophie Elliott’s traditional cakes also caught The Prince’s eye. Two years ago, a Prince’s Trust Enterprise course gave Sophie the confidence she needed to grow her baking business, so this was a really special moment. The cherry on the cake was introducing the royal couple to Alan Marshall, who supplies eggs to George’s Cakes and many other local businesses.
Our markets are flying the flag for a more sustainable lifestyle, so we invited two of our favourite eco heroes along to meet the royal couple. Sara Dixon runs Hawkwell Herbs and is a regular at our markets. Their Royal Highnesses found out all about how her eco-friendly herbs can completely transform a meal. The royal couple also met Ruth Marley, who runs the Re-Imagine Resource Centre at Witchford. The Centre collects material that would usually go to land-fill, making it available to the local community for craft projects and artwork. Our markets have always been at the heart of community life, and we’re proud to working with Re-Image, and its latest off-shoot, the Community Larder – a project to collect surplus food from shops and businesses, making it available to everyone who needs it.
Absolutely irresistable Ely Gin
Before The Prince and The Duchess left the market, there was just enough time to stop at Ely Gin’s stall. It was a chilly day in the Fens and a little taster of Nancy de Clair and James Clarke’s Cherry and Sloe Gin was the perfect winter warmer. The Prince of Wales declared it to be “absolutely irresistible” and even took a bottle home with him! It was a wonderful way to end their day at Ely Markets.
We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make the Royal visit to Ely Markets such a success. From our traders who braved the cold and the local school children who provided music and flag-waving, to all our loyal customers who came along to show their support. Thank you for helping us make the day so special!