Local shoppers gathered at the latest Sunderland’s Farmers Market last week to celebrate and support small-businesses.
The market is an event which not only gives locals the chance to buy locally sourced food, but is also a way for independently run businesses to publicise and heighten their popularity as they usually struggle to compete with local supermarkets.
Among the farmers was award-winning JR Jams.
Jean Read, the owner of JR Jams, said: “I can’t produce on a large scale like supermarkets. Unfortunately, I work twice as hard as much for less the price. But supermarkets haven’t got that personal touch; they haven’t got that quality, who knows what they put in their jams.
“It’s just me and one other girl who make the jams. Most markets are good, it’s trying to attract them and make it appealing which is the difficult part.”
New to Sunderland’s market was Sweet Tooth Delivery, a delivery service that specialises in cakes and desserts.
Kayley Smith, the managing director said: “100 per cent, we need these markets, it’s somewhere you can go to showcase your food. Customers can try out the products, I also think people like to meet the people who make them.
“I owned my own coffee business. I sold it, and thought there was a place in the market for only desserts. The effort independent business put in is outstanding, but you neverget a pat on the back for it.
Lauren Dimmick, a regular shopper at Sunderland said: “I bought the nicest eaton mess cheesecake from Sweet Tooth Delivery. I could really taste the difference from the regular, stale shop bought cakes you can find just anywhere.”
The market is run by Sunderland Live who began delivering the event on the behalf of Sunderland City Council in 2013.
Michelle Whittle, Sunderland Live’, Event Coordinator said: “The market is a great opportunity for people to pick up quality, locally sourced produce and shop local in their city.”
Sunderland’s Farmers Market is open on every fourth Friday of the month in the market centre.