Some photos from the Spring Market

The first customer at Bucksum seasonal vegetables and salads. Adjoining it is the Springhill stall
The first customer at Bucksum seasonal vegetables and salads. Adjoining it is the Springhill stall.

 

The coffee shop looked inviting with its new gingham tablecloths and spring flower arrangements.
The coffee shop looked inviting with its new gingham tablecloths and spring flower arrangements.
Will there be any left for the customers ...?
Will there be any left for the customers …?
Mr Jillicious looks after the stall
Mr Jillicious looks after the stall
Francesca - saleswoman of the year
Francesca, saleswoman of the year, demonstrates another way to wear the stylish Pantry tote bag, as shown in the foreground.
The Pantry tote bags are very popular
A colourful display of bags
A colourful display of bags

What’s all that white stuff?

Cherwell-20130317-00275

Well, the Easter Fayre at Studley Wood Golf Club should have been a good opportunity to promote The Pantry and sell some stock – unfortunately, we awoke to heavy snow, which got heavier throughout the morning, so although the Pantry people undaunted struggled through the blizzard (well, quite big snowflakes, actually) to be there, along with several other stallholders, there were very few other people around to buy our products. The snow stopped finally just around the time the market was due to finish, and now that we’ve packed everything up and are back home, the sun is starting to break through.

It was disappointing, as this will be our last chance until June, but it’s all part of the learning curve. One of our regular stallholders, David at Bucksum salads and vegetables, was kind enough to donate a fabulous box of vegetables and fruit for us to raffle, and we did sell some things, so we didn’t go away empty-handed. But it was a shame the snow had to thwart our plans for an encore.

Offer from one of The Pantry’s sponsors

One of The Pantry’s sponsors, Studley Wood Golf Club, is offering free ladies’ taster sessions – details are on the poster below.

Don’t forget, The Pantry will be taking a stall at the Easter Fayre at Studley Wood Golf Club this Sunday, 17 March, 11am-3pm – this will be the last chance to support us before we return on 8 June.

You can find further details here.

Get into Golf Poster ladies_page_001

Volunteering

We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many people have offered their help to get The Pantry up and running – it’s clearly sparked the interest of many local people, and it’s great to know we have such a wonderful group of volunteers to call on for all those jobs that need doing as the next market looms nearer.

However, we’d love to have even more of you, so that the work is spread out among a larger group and we aren’t always relying on the same people to do the same things.

If you think you’d be interested and would like to know a little more about volunteering, have a look at ‘Be more involved?‘ in the ‘Pantry people’ section of this blog.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Twitter

Just a reminder that, after our encore on Sunday at Studley Wood Golf Club, The Pantry won’t be around again until 8 June. But now that I’ve discovered Twitter, I’ll be tweeting and retweeting odd snippets of interest to Pantry people and like-minded folk – not all the time, as I do have a real life, but often enough, I hope, to make it worth following us. If you’d like to, our ‘handle’ is @pidding_pantry.

There is now (as of 12 March) also a Piddington Twitter page: @Piddingtonoxon. Any suggestions for who/what might be interesting for the village to follow gratefully. Please tweet them!

The Pantry does an encore!

The Pantry will be taking a stall at the Easter Fayre at Studley Wood Golf Club this Sunday, 17 March, 11am-3pm.

You can find further details here.

So if you missed the market in Piddington on Saturday, you’ll have another chance to buy some of the great locally sourced products we offered in the General Store, including those from:

Brightwell Bees

Crudges Cheeses

Jacobs Field Lavender

Just Biscuits

The Littlecote Soap Co.

Made by Mums

Oxford Cheese Company

Quince Products Ltd

And if you forgot to buy one of our fabulous Pantry tote bags, we’ll have them for sale too.

Phew!

Well, our spring market is over, and once again it was a really enjoyable day. It was great to welcome back some stallholders who’d come to our first market, and to meet new faces, who we hope will return at some point.

The Pantry People would like to thank everyone who helped make the event such a success – not least our amazing group of volunteers, who worked hard all day and yet always had smiles on their faces. It’s so wonderful to see villagers all pulling together to create something special like this. Friends who had come from elsewhere, and new residents of the village, all commented to me that what they were experiencing here was quite remarkable – ‘What a magical place to live’ said one of them, looking around in amazement. Well, maybe a little bit of magic is involved, but mostly it’s the realisation that unless we Piddington people work together to keep our little community thriving, the danger is that there’ll no longer be a community left to work for. Our village could just become a collection of separate dwellings, where no one looks out for their neighbour.

So even though putting up the marquee in the rain (twice – the second time with the poles in the right places!), sweeping up puddles of rain from the marquee floor the night before and hoping for no more rain before doors open, tearing round the countryside chasing up orders at the last minute, endless hours, days, weeks of organisation, etc., is incredibly exhausting and time-consuming, it’s well worth it all when you see just what can be achieved.

We’re already looking forward to the summer market on 8 June. In the meantime, thanks again to everyone who helped and to everyone who came to buy goods, have a drink and a chat, sell some of their lovely produce or gifts, and in doing so helped support Piddington. We couldn’t have done it without you all.

Nearly there

We’re all trying to be very calm and grown up here at Pantry Central, but behind the scenes there’s frantic last-minute activity to make sure everything gets done in time for the market this Saturday.

This is only the second time we’ve done this, and, although much of the organisation went more smoothly this time, because of lessons learned from last time, there is still a mountain of tasks to do before we open the doors to everyone on Saturday morning.

Partly, this is because of the amazing award we’ve just received. We wanted to try to use the money to buy things to enhance this market, so people could benefit from them sooner, rather than waiting until summer. So we’ve been scurrying around buying a coffee machine (tested for the first time last night, at our volunteers meeting), gingham tablecloths and – most exciting of all to some of us – lovely red 100% cotton tote bags with our name printed on them in white. These should be delivered tomorrow, and personally I can’t wait to fill one. Or two. Or …

Last night, some of the products we’ve bought to sell in the General Store were brought along for volunteers (and us) to look at and in some cases test. I absolutely loved the lavender toiletries range, made from lavender grown in Islip, not far from here. Wonderfully aromatic, complex, clean fragrance – quite different from many commercial scents. That should be popular as a gift for Mother’s Day, the following day.

Once again, we’re offering to make up baskets filled with products bought at the market, so I think there’ll be some delighted mothers this weekend.

Well, I must press on. More signs to print, bread bags to label, jars to price …

Good news

We’ve just been given some fantastic news.

Catherine Fulljames, our County Councillor, has allocated £1,000 from her Councillor’s Community Budget to The Pantry because she believes it is such a worthwhile project, and one that will benefit our whole community.

The Pantry People would like to thank Catherine Fulljames very much indeed for this generous award. We are putting the money to good use: it will go towards buying a coffee machine, some red gingham tablecloths, mugs and other items for the coffee shop, having tote bags printed with our name on them, creating professional advertising material (posters and leaflets) and buying flooring for the marquee. All these things were on our wishlist, but the award brings them much closer – and we hope some of them will be available for the next market …

… which, don’t forget, is on this Saturday, 9 March, 9.30-1.30, at Piddington Village Hall. Come and see why we love The Pantry!