Suffolk Market Events is named ‘Best Rural Enterprise’ in the East of England

Justine Paul of Suffolk Market Events at Sudbury Farmers Market Picture: Nigel Brown

Justine Paul of Suffolk Market Events at Sudbury Farmers Market Picture: Nigel Brown - Credit: Archant

The business, which has established farmers markets across Suffolk and Essex, now heads to London as a finalist in The Countryside Alliance Awards – otherwise known as the `Rural Oscars’

Bury St Edmunds Farmers' Market Picture: SUFFOLK MARKET EVENTS

Bury St Edmunds Farmers' Market Picture: SUFFOLK MARKET EVENTS - Credit: Archant

Now in their 14th year, the awards received over 17,000 nominations for businesses in five categories; local food and drink, village shop/post office, butcher, pub and rural enterprise.

Suffolk Market Events will join the other nine regional winners at the national finals at the Houses of Parliament next month in the presence of the MPs and Ministers.

The company runs regular farmers markets in Lavenham, Bury St Edmunds, and Sudbury and has recently launched markets in Long Melford, Ipswich and Colchester.

Justine Paul with Lizzi Flaherty at Sudbury Farmers Market Picture: Nigel Brown

Justine Paul with Lizzi Flaherty at Sudbury Farmers Market Picture: Nigel Brown - Credit: Archant

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In addition, it brings farmers markets to high profile events including The Great East Swim and Bury Christmas Fayre. For the last three years the business has also developed The Taste of Sudbury Food & Drink Festival into one of the leading festivals in the region.

Founder Justine Paul said: "Suffolk Market Events has grown from one person, with some community support, literally staple gunning posters to notice boards and putting out trestle tables in a village hall, to a profitable business serving numerous communities and working with hundreds of producers to deliver award winning markets to thousands of customers.

A scene from Bury St Edmunds farmers market

A scene from Bury St Edmunds farmers market - Credit: Archant

More than just shopping

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"I have moved from a kitchen table to an office where three other people work with me, in a space where awards fill the window sills but where we never lose sight of our roots."

Miss Paul added: "Our markets are more than just shopping, they are an experience where visitors can really get an insight into local products and sample a range of different foods that they may not have tried before.

"We want people to make a visit to the market something they put in their diary every month."

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