When we met recently to plan this year’s markets, Chris, our treasurer, started things off by giving us a statement of our current finances.
So, for those of you who like facts and figures, here is the story of The Pantry in round numbers:
Number of Pantry markets held – 8 (+2 stalls at other markets)
Income – £12,600
Expenditure – £7,100
Surplus – £5,500
This got us thinking about just how much The Pantry has achieved since it started. When a few villagers first got together, in October 2012, with the vague idea of exploring whether a community shop and cafe was feasible in Piddington, we thought a good start might be to hold a Christmas market that villagers would find fun and a bit different. It would help to raise funds and we’d see whether there was any interest.
It’s now April 2015, and The Pantry is still going strong. In fact, at the recent launch event of Piddington’s Community-Led Plan, The Pantry was often mentioned as one of the things people liked about living in our village.
If you’re a frequent visitor, you’ll know how popular these markets are. We advertise them widely, and visitors come from quite far afield, many making a point of telling us how impressed they are to see such a small village put on a regular event like this. The few people who organise The Pantry rely hugely on the enthusiasm and commitment of a much larger band of excellent volunteers, without whom the markets couldn’t happen. The volunteers are mainly (though not exclusively) Piddington villagers.
Of our total income, some is always used to replenish stock and improve subsequent markets. Since we started, for example, we’ve bought a new marquee, which enables us to house more stalls. Expenditure on equipment like this also benefits the village as a whole – the marquee has been used for other village hall events, as has the coffee machine we bought for the Coffee Shop. The remainder is put in the bank, as the foundation of a community shop and cafe fund. If at some point in the future we decide that a shop and/or cafe isn’t going to happen for some reason (unlikely, but possible, I suppose), then all the surplus money raised by The Pantry over the years will be given to other village groups to be used for the benefit of Piddington residents.
So thanks, everyone who has supported the markets so far – and if you haven’t been to The Pantry yet, what are you waiting for? The atmosphere is great, there’s always lots to look at and tasters of food and drink to try and the Coffee Shop is fab. Come to the Spring Market on 18 April, and don’t miss out on something that Piddington is doing so well.