Christmas season is here – in spades!!!

Hi folks!!  Here we are again – another year older and still doing the business?!! We’ve had a couple of events since I last posted with mixed results but, all good for the exposure and continuity!! Huntly Market was cold but dry and a good turnout of both traders and customers then Thistle Street the following weekend was pretty good too.  In between those was an event at Strichen in Ritchie Hall in aid of the Strichen Toddlers Group, a Ladies Christmas Shopping & Pamper Night!! I was in my element as I was the only man in the hall, every other trader and customer were ladies – I did behave myself – not much choice at my age but it was fun!!  Not much in sales but all in a good cause!!!

We have a couple of new items for the Christmas gift ideas, hampers etc. some of which are in the above pictures, The Chilli Clementine Marmalade with Cointreau is absolutely bursting with a zesty orange intensity that dazzles the palate. It is in small jars at only £3.00 each. Ideal for hampers, individual gifts or as a treat for yourself ?!!!  We have experimented with the fluted globular jar in the much larger size to see if anyone would like a family size gift which comes in at £6.50 and, the nest of three jars, each with a different product of your choice and gift wrapped in Christmas cellophane or boxed, as per your requirements, which is priced at £15.00.  We will try and accomodate any individual requests for gift ideas but are limited by time and the small size of our operation and would need as much advance notice as possible?!!

This coming Saturday is at Banchory Farmers Market which will be a full day as there is an extension of the market through the afternoon to include the Christmas Lights big switch-on!!! Some of us traders will be there until around  4 or 5 o’clock and hope to see all our regular customers and any visitors.  Check out The Banchory Farmers Market Facebook page for all the details of the days events and attractions.

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay well and take care!!

Advertisements

Huntly & Thistle Street – apologies for the long gap!!!

Did we have a summer?? Did I blink and miss it??  Oh well!!  Never mind – here we go again – hurtling towards another winter!!  Mind you, it seems that seasons are becoming a little blurred and morphing into a mish-mash which is an amalgam of all four which can occur randomly at any time of the year??!!!  OK – that’s enough of the amateur meteorology – to matters at hand!!

Huntly Market was a good affair as usual, loads of traders and a good turnout of folk and only a couple of blustery showers. We didn’t do particularly well but it was an enjoyable day nonetheless and some of our regulars were glad we came which, after all, is what it’s all about??!!  Can’t believe that was 11 days ago, I really am slipping with my posts — Sorry!!

Last Saturday was at Thistle Street in Aberdeen and was a fantastic day!!!  A slow start as expected(who wants to get up early on a Saturday if not working??) but became a steady flow through of buying customers that, at the end of the day gave us a nice surprise with a bigger turnover than we expected.  Once again, a huge vote of thanks to Maura and her crew for the organisation and smooth running of the day – always good and extremely helpful – cheers guys and gals!!!  Also a massive thank you to my gorgeous 10 year old granddaughter, Alana, for her cheerful assistance as my cashier and all round stacker, packer, and cheerer upper!!  Fabulously uplifting company!!!

Next Saturday 21st October(already??) we are back at Banchory after having missed last months market due to weather!!  I hope our customers there have not forgotten us in the interim??  Really looking forward to a good day at Banchory Farmers Market and – so far – the forecast is potentially going to be OK with quieter conditions than of late – who knows – and in the end – does it matter?? Nah!! Rain or shine, we’ll be there!!  (I know – it did matter last time??!!) Meanwhile, take good care folks, stay safe and stay alert!!!

Aberdeen outlet at last!!

We have been trying for months – if not for years – to find someone in Aberdeen to stock our produce?? We have sent or taken samples to dozens of Deli’s, specialist food stores etc and, at long last, we have succeeded!!  A huge thank you to J K Fine Foods in Chattan Place in Aberdeen for placing an order with us last Friday. The order has been collected and is now with the store and, hopefully, will soon be on their shelves for our loyal customers – now you don’t have to wait for the Thistle Street market to top up with your favourite goodies.  Whatever you do, if you’re in town, J K Fine Foods is a glorious Aladdins cave of a place to visit and browse!! They stock a fantastic array of delicatessen type foods and delicacies from all around the area as well as butchery and fresh fish counters!!  Why don’t you take a look at their website at jkfinefoods.co.uk and see for yourself??

Ballater Farmers Market was well attended last Saturday with an expanding selection of traders and customers crowding the Church Green in the centre of Ballater. It is without doubt, one of my favourite places in Scotland, not just for the business, although we generally do quite well, but mainly for the lovely people, venue and scenery. The atmosphere is always convivial, the folk all smiling and – mostly – the weather has been pretty good and it didn’t let us down on Saturday!!

We are a little sad because one of our favouite trader friends has now retired and gone off to enjoy some well earned “me time” — ‘Little Jimmy’ of Granite City Fish will no longer be brightening up our day with his cheery banter and wonderful service??!!  Well done Jimmy – it was a pleasure to know you!! – and thank you for your friendship and company over the past few years!!!  Enjoy your retirement!!!

This coming Saturday, 7th October 2107, we will be at the Huntly Farmers Market as usual and hope to see all our regular friends and customers and, I suspect, a rather depleted number of visitors as the seasons move on – but – who knows? there may be still some hardy souls on their travels, who will be very warmly welcomed with the usual hospitality and smiling faces of the Huntly folk!!        Take care and stay safe!!!

Hit & a miss!!

 

Despite our best efforts on Saturday, having set off for Banchory, we were unlucky enough to be brought to a screaming halt by an unknown obstruction on the back road to Inverurie from Turriff??  I still don’t know exactly what caused the back up but am assuming with the weather conditions of late, that it was flooding or something associated with the incessant rain??!! Suffice to say that by the time I turned around and retraced my steps to try to find an alternate route, it was too late to get there in time to set up before packing up – if that makes any sense?? Mission abandoned!!!   Sorry Banchory, if anyone was looking for us, we hope to make up for it next time and we can always send you stuff if you need in the interim??!!

Meanwhile, Sunday was a total success!!  Deeside Food Festival at Cults Academy was an outstanding day with an amazing number of people attending!!  It was noisy, busy, buzzing and bustling with foodies all taking advantage of the many delights on display and available for tasting, sampling and generally gorging on!!! The range of local suppliers, manufacturers and home producers on display was truly awesome and the atmosphere fabulous with smiling, happy faces aplenty!!! Our only problem was we were in front of the stage where there was a cookery show going on and the speakers on either side of the stage seemed to be pointed directly at us – neither us nor our customers could hear anything whilst it was in progress as the volume was incredibly high and the patter incessant – it did raise a few smiles whilst attempting to explain how our produce could be used in cooking – somewhat ironic really??!! The amount of work in getting the whole event organised and the running of the nitty gritty of the day is a great credit to Rachel Gambro and her merry crew!! There was so much help and guidance available throughout the day and organisers on the spot whenever a need arose – all I can say is a huge and grateful — THANK YOU & WELL DONE TO ALL CONCERNED!!

Next Saturday 23rd September, we hope to be at Ballater Farmers Market and are, as always, looking forward to another happy and pleasant day at a fabulous venue!!  See you there and meanwhile, stay safe, stay happy and stay alert!!!

 

Thistle Street – dry & mainly sunny – wow!!!

It was – eventually – a good day but, at the start, we honestly though we’d not see any customers??!!  It was so quiet and with a few gaps in the stall holder ranks – reminiscent of the ghost town in old cowboy movies — all we needed was the tumbleweed??!!!  There was never a large crowd at any one time but a fairly steady stream of passersby(is that how you spell that??) some of whom seemed to be stocking up for a siege? That’s what made it a little strange, those that did come by were buying in multiples – no complaints there – but it didn’t seem like a particularly busy day until we realised that we’d taken about the average for Thistle Street!!  It was also very much easier for Suzie & myself to move around and layout our stuff properly with being able to use our own gazebo instead of the market supplied stalls??!!  Thank you to Maura and crew for your hard work and help – Westend Markets is going from strength to strength – onwards and upwards guys & gals!!

Next weekend we have a double date, with Banchory Farmers Market on the Saturday and the wonderful Deeside Food Festival at Cults Academy on the Sunday!!  We have been to Cults for the past couple of years and it has been an extremely busy and fun day every time – so much going on with something for all the family – cookery demos, jazz band, enough variety of food stalls outside and inside with a range of goodies to suit every palate?!!  If you have the time and are in the area, we highly recommend that you stop by and take a wander around – guarantee you won’t regret it (you might spend a little more money than you perhaps intended ‘cos temptation will be in your path??!!!)

Whatever you decide to do, be safe, be happy and thank your stars that we don’t have hurricanes – spare a thought for those poor people in the Caribbean and Florida who have had their lives destroyed??!!  Take care folks – see you on the circuit somewhere!!!

Happy Accidents – New Product!!

Funny old thing – what started out as an experimental recipe by our son for a Harissa paste,  when we translated it, has somehow transformed into an Indonesian style Sambal Oelek??!!  As the title suggests, this has turned out to be a happy accident in that the end result is absolutely stunning!! We only made a small trial amount and took 7 small jars with us to The Huntly Hairst last Saturday!! What a nice surprise when it was so well received that we could have sold five times that amount??!!  It is somewhat fiery – what else would you expect from us?? but the intensity of the flavour is awesome and as a marinade for chicken, fish, veggies – in fact with anything that takes your fancy that needs a lift – this will do the trick with a vengeance!! We are currently furiously engaged in making a much larger batch which we hope to bring to the Thistle Street Farmers Market this coming Saturday 9th September, along with all our usual range – Hot Pineapple Sauce, KB Sauce, Chilli Jam, Tomato Kasaundi etc, etc!!! (9 other products??)

Speaking of the Huntly Hairst, what a fantastic day that was!!!  There were 62 stands with everything edible under the sun on display, cookery demo’s, bouncy castle, musicians, charity runs, and, to top it all, a glorious day of sunshine and blue skies — HOORAY!!!  Anna and her team worked tirelessly to ensure that the day ran smoothly and it was a huge success – witnessed by the constant display of smiling faces wherever you looked – it was fun and a great day was had by all – thank you Anna and the magnificent folk of Huntly and surrounding areas – you did us proud!!!

OK, I’ll try and post some pics between now and next Saturday but no promises, not that there’s much to take piccies of but I know folk like to see what we are doing??  Meanwhile, take care and stay safe!!

Piccies as promised – Ballater – here we come!!!

These two products are the latest kids on the block – Spicy Sweetcorn Relish & Spicy Tomato Salsa!!  Both are very different from anything else we have and are a wonderful addition to our range!  The sweetcorn Relish has a lively, tangy side with a good chilli kick in the aftertaste and the Tomato Salsa has a fruity edge, some sharpness from the fresh cranberries and, as you would expect, also a good chilli bite??!!  These both would go perfectly with any BBQ meat or veggies, with a salad or simply as a side with a ploughmans?!!  As with all our products, the only limit to how you use these wonderful condiments is your imagination – don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it???!!! get adventurous, get wild, try something a little different and let the creative juices flow!!!

Our Saturday market this weekend is at Ballater on the church green in the middle of the town!!  A lovely venue and definitely one of our favourite places to be each month – swing on by and let us and our fellow traders supply you with all you need for a scrumptious weekend of delicacies for your table!!  Buy local – eat local – support local businesses!! We really appreciate that folk come back to us each month to stock up on their favourite foodie items, and with such a delightful and consciencious bunch of hardworking traders making great efforts to consistently supply your needs – how can you go wrong?? We would also like to thank the good folk of Banchory for their great turnout in some pretty decent weather last Saturday – accompanied by the Scottish Country Dancers, literally dancing in the aisles!!!

Take care folks, stay safe and BE AWARE!!!!

Addresses & businesses??!!

It would appear that there is some confusion in some quarters regarding our home or business addresses??  I wish to clarify that we do not conduct or carry on any business dealings from our home address in Turriff!!  All our business dealings are carried out at other premises, normally at farmers market venues throughout the North East of Scotland and sometimes from buildings that are licenced for the purpose of trade for visiting traders who pay for that privilege!!  This is for reasons concerning insurance!!

Now that’s cleared up, apologies to all for the long break between posts – just chillin’!!! Tomorrow, 19th August, we are at Banchory Farmers Market and hope to see all our customers again – old and new – we have a couple of new things for you to try!!??  I won’t say what they are right now — you’ll have to come on down and have a taste but, I promise you – they are as delicious as all the other wonderfully imaginative products that Suzie has concocted (to be honest, I’ve packed up the car with everything for tomorrow and forgot to take pictures first for this post?? – duh!!!) I will post pictures and descriptions next week for those that will not be attending Banchory – honest!!

In the light of recent and ongoing events – I would urge you all to be on the lookout for anything unusual and don’t be afraid to speak out or issue warnings, even if it turns out to be nothing, better red faced than dead??!! It’s time we took up a more pro-active stance against this horrific behaviour – it’s our country – let’s make sure it stays that way!!! Don’t ever think that it can’t happen here – that’s what all the dead and injured thought – before it happened to them???!!

Sorry about the rant but we need to speak up more and take action – take care, stay safe and  —– STAY ALERT!!!!

Too old for this malarkey!!

Well – that was a bit of a mini marathon!!  Saturday at Huntly Farmers Market and Sunday & Monday at The Keith Country Show – 3 very long, exhausting days with 10+ hours a day on your feet!!  Not a complaint but an observation that it gets more difficult the older you get.  We did OK and met some absolutely wonderful people and almost sold out by the end of the Monday!!  Our lovely Alana, who is now a seasoned market warrior, was with me for all 3 days and the final day, Monday, saw a rare appearance of the maestro herself – Suzie actually made a supreme effort and had a good, if somewhat painful day, at The Keith Show!!  The sun was out for most of the 3 days with a couple of showers on the Monday afternoon but generally behaved itself??!! We saw a lot of old friends that we’d not seen for a year or two and Grandad actually went on 3 of the fairground rides with Alana on the Monday afternoon – gritted teeth on two of them – they don’t make the seats big enough for 17st geriatrics with a paunch??? – at least I didn’t throw up, much to Alana’s relief!!!

I regret to inform you all that we will NOT be attending any markets this coming weekend due to unforeseen personal circumstances, but hope to resume normal service the following weekend??!!!

A few pictures of the stand at Keith – Alana was in charge of the display!!

IMG_1975IMG_1974IMG_1976IMG_1972

Just a quick note – will catch up after Keith Show??!!

Manically busy in the run-up to, and obviously during, the weekend as it was Huntly Farmers Market on Saturday 5th August, which was a good day – and now in the middle of a two day stint at the Keith Country Show!!  We are definitely too old for this, but I have had the joy of the uplifting company of our beautiful and enormously entertaining grand daughter. Not only is she clever, but funny, happy-go-lucky, and so good for my soul!!  Thank you Alana Zoe for your never ending cheerfulness and good humour – you are an asset to not only our business but our lives too!!  I couldn’t do it without you ‘cos I would have packed up and gone home??!!!

I’ll be back with a full report on the weekends activities later this week but right now, after a Suzie beef curry and two large glasses of dark rum on the rocks – it’s goodnight from him – and goodnight from me??!!  Stay safe – catch ya’ll later!!!