Set up a Cottage Market

 

There are the ‘must haves’, the ‘would like to haves’ and the ‘if I was Wonder Woman/Super Man I could haves’ that go with setting up a Cottage Market. And we’ll help you with all of them.

Our Cottage Markets have blazed their own paths of community spirit and individuality but we need to be sure that all our Cottage Markets and their Marketeers share the same commitments.

In order to be one of the fantastic Cottage Market Crew,  your Cottage Market must:

  • Put homemade, home crafted and homegrown food back in the heart of your community
  • Showcase skills and talents of the local area
  • Create opportunities for people to gather and socialise
  • Apply the 80:20 rule – 80% primary producers and 20% secondary producers
  • Be an open, welcoming and inclusive place
  • Help support and promote local businesses and start-up enterprises
  • Sell high quality local produce
  • Offer a stall at no charge for local community food growing groups to sell produce and register new members
  • Offer a ‘Community Stall’ for local community groups such as Tidy Towns or charities to use on a rotating basis to promote their work, sell raffle tickets etc.

Please note that priority is given to communities outside of large urban areas (sorry City Folk, but this one is all about the Rural Rebels) but definitely spans the island of Ireland. We are also open to anyone who wishes to bring existing markets under the umbrella of The Cottage Market movement.

So, if you nodded your head to all of the above then it’s time to put on that home sewn superhero cloak and become a Cottage Marketeer.

We need to be sure that you know just what setting up and running a Cottage Market entails so  please read through the following checklist and ensure you have everything you need.

Checklist:

  • Identify if and why your community needs a Cottage Market
  • Identify if fresh, locally produced and seasonal produce is readily available in your area.
  • Find out whether there are any local GIY Groups/community food growing projects and if they are interested in being involved.
  • Work out if there are producers interested in becoming stallholders and people willing to come to buy produce/products.
  • Willingness to invest in or find funding to cover additional initial setup costs of a market (e.g. GIY will provide half the insurance funding but you must find funds for the other half (will be reimbursed by GIY after 3 months, and the venue costs). A successful market will repay this investment over the first 6 months.

You are more likely to be successful if you have:

  • Convinced (cajoled/persuaded/blackmailed) at least one other person to help you set up The Cottage Market in your area. The more people with skills and interests the better.
  • Identified a suitable venue
  • Talked to your local community council, or similar, to gain their interest and support in The Cottage Market
  • Clarity around how your Cottage Market dreams are in line with The Cottage Market principals

N.B: If you are already involved with a Market and would like to become part of The Cottage Market some of the above steps are not applicable but maybe worth reviewing.

If you have any questions then contact Siona at siona@giy.ie or phone 051 584 411.

Insurance

The person or group running a Cottage Market and the stallholders must have adequate public and/or product liability insurance. There are a number of companies that provide such cover and we will happily talk you through the options.

Contact us at siona@giy.ie to find out more. We’d love to help you in any way we can.

Must Have’s

Energy, Good Humour and a Can Do Attitude

There is always a simple solution to not having enough tables, the kettle not working, the musicians playing too loudly or any of the other hundred and one things that can go wrong when dealing with an event and people – common sense goes a long way. Yes it’s important to be organised and efficient but sometimes you just need to make everyone a cup of tea and put on some Stevie Wonder. You don’t need to be super smiley all the time but setting up and running a Cottage Market is for people who like people (even for that tense 5 minutes when they don’t!).

Realistic Expectations

Of yourself, your stall holders, your customers and the weather. Some market days will be like something out of a Cath Kidston brochure and others will absolutely not. Be clear about your market’s capacity and footfall from the start and do your best to collectively market your market and engage with other groups as best you can. As for the weather – sometimes you just have sing in the rain!

A Suitable Venue

Bearing in mind Irish weather you will ideally have a venue that offers both an indoor and an outdoor option. Community/Church Halls are fantastic venues and if you’re lucky enough to have one in your town or village then make contact with the committee as soon as you can. Outdoor markets look wonderful with gazebos, parasols, picnic tables and people sitting and chatting making for a great atmosphere. Indoor markets are the business when it’s wet and cold outside and lines of stalls with lots of colour and interest make for a cosy and fun experience. Make sure it’s easily accessible for people with reduced mobility, wheelchair users, pram pushers, toddler tow-ers and the like.

Insurance

The person or group running a Cottage Market and the stallholders must have adequate public and/or product liability insurance. There are a number of companies that provide such cover and we will happily talk you through the options.

Contact us at siona@giy.ie to find out more. We’d love to help you in any way we can.

Cottage Market Facts:

  • Led by the community for the community and develops organically ‘from the inside out”.
  • All about inclusivity and having a go which encourages amateur producers/hobbyists of all ages to take part.
  • Attracts a diverse range of stallholders, produce and customers.
  • Committed to developing and showcasing the skills, talents and interests of local people, rather than ‘parachuting in’ professional traders.
  • commercial with a small c and Community with a capital C.