How Real Food Ilkley is starting a food revolution in West Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 May 2016
A community comes together to celebrate the finer foods of life, as Lucy Allen reports
At last, after 18 months of careful planning, Ilkley has finally got its very own fine food and local produce market. Real Food Ilkley, which runs on the first Sunday of every month, offers a range of goodies such as handmade Yorkshire artisan cheeses, chutneys from Ilkley and fruit liqueurs from Addingham to authentic Indian sauces from Leeds and award-winning gluten free cakes from Burley in Wharfedale.
It was the idea of Paula Connor who, while making preserves in her kitchen in Ilkley, to launch a fine food market which she hoped would bring the community together. Paula, now a stallholder, started The Greenhut Co, a chutney and preserves company in 2014, developing a small range of preserves using fruit and vegetables in accordance to organic standards and selling them at a variety of markets in Yorkshire. She wanted to do more in Ilkley and to work with the community and so gathered a number of like-minded producers and experts in food markets. Together they created Real Food Ilkley, a Community Interest Company (CIC), which is a not-for-profit organisation.
Half the stalls appearing at Real Food Ilkley are producers from the LS29 area, and the team is keen on creating a pop-up community hub where people can meet and learn more about the food they eat every month. The 15 stalls of Real Food Ilkley tucked just behind the Black Hat pub car park in the centre of Ilkley, are full of fresh and tantalising produce. The market also includes two different community stalls each month.
‘Our aim is to support local producers and retailers and work with local community groups,’ says Paula. ‘Ilkley is a hub for people who want to make things happen and there is a great range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants in the town now which are working together; the area seems to be attracting real talent. We were overwhelmed by the success of the first two events and we’re already seeing regulars to the market, and producers and retailers are linking up.’
Real Food Ilkley
Maxine Heppenstall of Walker Foster Walker Foster is a long established and respected firm of general solicitors serving Ilkley and beyond with offices in the town as well as in Skipton, Silsden and Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Their objective is to provide clients with sensible, high quality, value-for-money legal services and to help them achieve pragmatic solutions to their problems. Every client is different and they tailor their advice to their clients’ particular circumstances. They endeavour to provide an excellent standard of service and place great importance on client satisfaction and believe in a close working relationship with their clients, personal attention and an understanding of our clients’ needs, whether business or personal. 01943 609969 walkerfoster.com
Matthew Lunt Coopers of Ilkley offer a fantastic range of restoration services for all furniture and antiques. Whether your piece is new or modern, you can count on them to restore it back to its original state. Established in 1910, they are a family run business, undertaking work for individual clients, insurance companies, museums and other parties. Their estimates and advice are free of charge, as is their collection and delivery service. They cover Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and surrounding areas. Coopers have been members of LAPADA and The Guild of Master Craftsmen for over 20 years and you can be assured of a high standard of service. 01943 608020 coopersantiquesilkley.co.uk
Lucy Rogers Lister Horsfall Jewellers is a family run business now in its fourth generation, founded over 110 years ago. Established in Halifax town centre and now in Ilkley, the shops have become synonymous with quality; whether it is fine jewellery and diamonds or one of the best selections of quality Swiss watch brands in the North of England. In recent years both stores have undergone extensive refurbishment and they are now proud to offer a dedicated Rolex area in their Halifax store and a Rolex room in Ilkley. This year will also see the completion of their new wedding and engagement ring display at their Halifax store. Both of their shops have a dedicated and experienced team that will be delighted to help you make your next purchase, providing you with an unforgettable shopping experience. 01943 601406 listerhorsfall.co.uk
Richard Mason, Lynda Alton, Emily Wallbank The Secret Drawer, established in 1998 and with a presence in Ilkley since 2004, has been serving a loyal and growing client base with the finest bespoke furniture, paints, wallpapers and fabrics. They delight in the individual requirements of their clients: from product advice, to colour consultations, from designing and making furniture to project managing complete home refurbishments. Secret Drawer furniture is handmade by dedicated cabinetmakers at their workshop in Skipton and is of the highest quality using many traditional methods to ensure the greatest attention to detail. Look out for their new Church Street showroom which opens summer 2016. 01943 600295 secret-drawer.co.uk .
Lizzie Fellows, a member of Leeds Bread Co-op, is a regular stall holder at Real Food Ilkley. She said about the first Real Food Ilkley market: ‘It was absolutely fantastic and we were so pleased to be part of it. We sold over 600 loaves of bread in the first two hours of the market! The people of Ilkley are real discerning foodies and we promise to bring more tasty bread to the next markets!’ w
Ilkley Fine Food and Local Produce Market takes place on the first Sunday of the month at 10.30am to 3pm until December. For more information about stalls contact Paula on firstname.lastname@example.org; community groups can email email@example.com. tweet @realfoodilkley or visit Facebook/ilkleyfoodmarket.