Popular farmers' market business launches artisan hamper service

A hamper of British produce including beer, spirits, jams, candles, granola and cured meats

Suffolk Market Events has launched a brand new website featuring hampers, available from Easter onwards - Credit: Emma Cabielles Photography

The operators of some of Suffolk's most successful farmers' markets and food events have taken their business into the 21st century with the help of a grant from New Anglia LEP.

Justine and Alex Paul, who run Suffolk Market Events, have had a tricky time during lockdown. Despite being able to open the majority of their markets, and even host a well-attended new vegan market in Ipswich, there have been setbacks - including the cancellation of Taste of Sudbury Food and Drink Festival this summer.

So the creation of a new website, new online platform for producers, and new hamper service comes as a little ray of light.

Alex says: "The success of our business has been built on bringing artisan producers who do not have traditional or digital routes to market in front of our potential customers. With our new website initiative we can ensure that the engagement between small local producers and customers can be kept alive by creating an online marketplace – in essence a virtual farmers' market where we can showcase these local producers and link them to this established customer base.  

"Additionally, we can ensure business continues, even if there are short term restrictions on movements or concerns on mass gatherings at markets."

A hamper of fudge, chocolates, candles, preserves and olive oil

An Easter hamper of East Anglian produce from Suffolk Market Events - Credit: Emma Cabielles Photography

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The first initiative of the new Suffolk Market Events site is the launch of Easter hampers, available to order now.

Priced from £48, each gourmet gift contains handpicked food, drink and crafts from traders who regularly attend the business's markets across the region.

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"All our featured producers are really excited about this new venture and we are really excited to be able to share such fabulous, local, artisan and handmade products with our customers," adds Alex.

Hampers could include products from any of the following: 

The English Spirit Distillery:  Since 2011, founder and master distiller Dr John Walters has accumulated an unrivalled wealth of distilling experience and now produces award-winning spirits that are truly world class, including English Spiced Rum.

The Jam Shed:  A small family-run preserves company based in the wonderful rolling countryside on the Essex/Suffolk border. Originally set up by Libby and her husband, Ted, The Jam Shed seeks to reawaken the love of local preserves by using nothing except wonderful seasonal local produce. 

Beehouse Honey Company: Ian Hart keeps hives across Essex and Suffolk selling almost entirely at farmers' markets with a unique range of honey as well as beeswax products, pollen and honey comb.  

Goat in a Soap: Totally handmade, in Colchester using milk from the award-winning Monach herd on the Essex/Suffolk border. Goats' Milk Soap is a pure product, made with 100% raw goats' milk, natural oils and shea butter and contains no parabens or preservatives.

Yaffle House: Taking inspiration from the Suffolk countryside, Dawn uses locally produced organic apple cider vinegar and sugar to create handmade marshmallows and fruit vinegars. 

Yum Yum Tree Fudge: Lily and Adrian aim to make the best quality fudge in the UK, sourcing the finest ingredients, using natural flavours and reducing the amount of sugar by replacing it with a natural sweetener derived from birch trees. 

The Big Bear Cider Mill: Located at Tumblers Green in Essex. The apples are grown in traditional orchards, and the cider is hand crafted at Rayleigh Orchard using carefully chosen yeasts that bring out the delicate aromas and flavours of the apple varieties.  Made from 100% apple juice, naturally vegan and naturally gluten-free. 

Good to Go : Gluten-free, vegan-friendly, fresh granola, blended, baked and packaged at Rachel and Sam’s busy home kitchen in Suffolk. Every grain, fruit and nut is selected for flavour and nutrition using rolled oats from Glebe Farm in Cambridgeshire.  

Dingley Dell Charcuterie: High welfare pork with provenance outdoors from their unique Red Duroc herd.  

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