I was thinking of updating my original blog post on the Sunday Market but have just updated the map instead. The reason I decided not to was that all the makers, producers, designers and collectors that I have mentioned in the post are now all regulars at the market so it is still relevant. I shouldn’t really be surprised because it’s such a friendly, happy place that gives the town a real buzz once a month on a Sunday morning.
There are now five sites on the market trail! I normally start at the Alexandra Road site, next to the Gym Beans Café which is open for the duration of the market. I then continue up to the roundabout at ‘Sixways’ and onto Bellevue Road to the old One Stop Shop site, then cross over to the Christopher Brown site. After spending some time there, I walk down to the Essential Computing Channel Court car park site which is a little further up on the right and then back down to the Kustom Floors and Furniture site. Many of the shops and cafes in Alexandra Road and Hill Road are also open which is an added bonus.
I think what I’m going to do in this blog post is present you to two or three stalls that I know are on each site.
Let’s start with the Alexandra Road site where there are twenty stalls. Hmm! Which ones to choose? Well, I’ve already mentioned and given links to Moist, Somerset Charcuterie and the Bath Soft Cheese Company in my original blog post and I’ve only just written about Grace & Hartland who produce my favourite natural skincare products. https://facesofclevedon.com/2019/08/24/grace-hartland/
So, let’s go for something completely different and start with Ginger and Tweed. These two creatives, Jo and Rob, hale from Box in Wiltshire and are regulars at the market. They are passionate about designing and making and produce the most original and the most beautiful, quality handcrafted homeware. In their own words:
“Our inspiration comes from seeing the potential in a great piece of wood or fabric to create a product that makes you say “I need that in my life”.
As you can see, they always bring a fabulous selection to the market but they are also happy to discuss bespoke pieces. Check out their website for yourself https://www.gingerandtweed.com/
Another regular at the market is Claire Gutsell, a Somerset based designer and the creator of Artichoke Cards. Claire’s cards reflect the things she loves, notably the seaside, the countryside and… gin.
In case you’re wondering about the name, Artichoke Cards is named after Claire’s love of artichokes which she grows in her garden and which keep her family fed throughout the Summer. Seeing them turn a glorious purple in the early autumn also gives her great pleasure.
All of Claire’s cards are printed on sustainable board, with a quality matt finish and left blank inside for your own greeting, message or even punch line. She designs all the cards herself.
Claire also does a beautiful range of outdoor candles which have been shortlisted for Gift of the Year 2019 in the Garden and Outdoor category.
Claire’s products are stocked by smaller retailers across the South West of England. You’ll often see her at local markets such as our own and she’s a regular at Bristol’s Harbourside Market. Clevedon Pier has a range of her Clevedon Pier designed products for sale in the Toll House and The Outdoor Candle is available at The Present Company in The Triangle. If you’d like to see more, you can check out her website for yourself https://artichokecards.co.uk/
And finally, on to Charlotte Mainprice creator of the very popular and much loved Truly Scrumptious Treats which opened in December 2018. Encouraged by her family who had enjoyed Charlotte’s hobby for many years, Charlotte started creating treats for a few local Christmas Fairs, and in December 2018 over five hundred treats went out to Christmas Fairs, events and orders. Her success continued and she now creates beautiful, bespoke favours, sweet cones and treats for a huge range of events such as weddings, corporate events, birthdays, baby showers, charity functions, prizes for local schools, the list is endless. Charlotte puts her business success down to the fact that she truly loves what she does. Do go and see her. and if you can’t make it then check out her FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/trulyscrumptioustreatss/
My route now takes me to the old One Stop Shop site where there are ten stalls. I’ve already featured Nic Comrie of ‘Clevedon Clay and Foods’ fame in a ‘Humans of Clevedon’ feature so I won’t say much. https://facesofclevedon.com/2019/03/19/humans-of-clevedon-nic-comrie/
On her Instagram, @clevedon_clay_and_foods Nic describes herself as ‘Potter, baker, chef, manic mother, recipe experimenter… Chef at Sow and Arrow…. Pottery lessons and commissions…….oh and cakes!
She’s all of those things and more but her background is pottery, a business she started with a Prince’s Trust Grant. I thoroughly recommend you check out Nic’s stall but here’s a little taste of what she has.
On the same site, you will find Jamie and Leah creators of the Clevedon Candle Co. Working in the NHS is busy and sometimes stressful so when Jamie and Leah come home they appreciate a calm, beautifully scented, relaxing atmosphere. Their bold scented candles, burners, diffusers and melts are hand-poured within the heart of their home and help to create such an atmosphere. Another reason to love their products is their use of ethically sourced ingredients including 100% soy wax, vegan-friendly and animal cruelty-free fragrance oils. They really do smell divine and they come in a variety of sizes, colours and scents. If you want a treat, check out their website: https://www.clevedoncandlecompany.co.uk/
I wasn’t planning to specifically mention any of the wonderful, independent shops in the Hill Road and Alexandra Road area but I’m making an exception for ‘That Nice Shop’ which is down some steps at the side of the One Stop Site. This is a newly furbished shop that I visited last week. Janet the owner is a wonderfully creative individual offering bespoke courses in jewellery, mosaics and much more. There are some great examples of her work in the shop and some really beautiful pieces. It’s a little tucked away and I don’t think a lot of people realise she’s there but if you go and visit which I hope you will, you’ll get a very warm welcome.
Off now to the Christopher Brown Site where there are another twenty stalls and to Howard Tucker, proud owner of The Glede Micro – Brewery, Shop and Tap Bar (known by some as Tucker’s Tap Bar) I’ve already done a blog post on Howard so if you want to know more, check it out https://facesofclevedon.com/2018/12/21/one-of-clevedons-best-kept-secrets/
The Clevedon Skate Project is next to Howard and I’m sure they’d love to chat to you; you may even like to get involved with this very exciting project. Their dream which has lots of local support is to renovate the town’s current, old and outdated skatepark by the Salthouse Field and to add a competition standard pump track on the grassy area that is in between the skate park, the MUGA (multi-use games area) and the tennis court. Check out the blog post that I did about them https://facesofclevedon.com/2019/02/20/building-a-skatepark-building-confidence-building-a-community/
Also on this site is the Textile Treasury where over the years, I have purchased many a beautiful item for birthday and Christmas presents. This stall is home to a beautiful, colourful collection of exotic luxurious textiles imported from Fairtrade and ethical sources all over the world.
Charlotte, the curator of this sumptuous collection, has throws, shawls, pashminas and scarves made from Baby Alpaca wool, Mongolian Yak wool, and Sabre silk made from an Aloe Vera plant; quirky Solemate socks which are unique in that a pair of socks contain two different socks within a pair and soft, luxurious bamboo socks which worn once, you will be committed to for life! Charlotte also has a range of lovely colourful items made from handmade felt by a women’s cooperative in Nepal: felt rucksacks with three finger puppets, hand-embroidered purses, vegan bags and purses, and beautiful felt handbags of various shapes and exotic colour combinations.
Charlotte has many strings to her bow and this fabulous stall is just one of them. It’s worth checking out her website to read about her inspirational story http://www.thetextiletreasury.com/
Also on this site is the very talented PJC Woodcraft, easily recognisable with his orange gazebo. Pete creates unique, magical loveliness from wood – bowls, boards, tealight holders, benches, candlesticks, vases, pieces of art and much, much more. I loved the carved scallops that he entered into the Clevedon Art Club Open Exhibition at Clevedon School. Pete is another stallholder who is very happy to take commissions. Check out Pete’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PJC-woodcraft-133095324121190/
There are seventeen stalls on the Essential Computing Channel Court site and I’m going to start with GingerBeard’s Preserves, a Bristol-based company who started making great-tasting, award-winning craft preserves in November 2014. They offer a huge range of products which you can check out on their website https://www.gingerbeardspreserves.co.uk/ As well as their core range, chef Harry enjoys experimenting and you might be lucky enough to snap up one of his limited releases.
Like many of the stallholders and indeed Clevedon businesses, GingerBeard’s Preserves care deeply about the environment. Their products are produced seasonally using as much local produce as they can get their hands on. Most of the packaging from their ingredients is reused, recycled or donated to a scrap store to be upcycled and their food waste is collected by a van powered on gas produced by the waste it collects! Everything is handmade in small batches to ensure quality, using no artificial preservatives, pectin or gelling agents.
The quality of GingerBeard’s Preserves is recognised every year by ‘The Taste of the West’ and ‘The Bristol Food Guide’. Happy the day when Harry moved down from Scotland to the south-west. Wishing you continued success Harry.
Another very interesting stall on this site is that of the very talented Alex Bridger of Baked with Style. Alex works from home and makes beautiful, bold, polymer clay jewellery in all kinds of lovely shapes and sizes but all very quirky and jazzy. I particularly love her geometric shaped earrings. Alex started this venture off as a bit of an experiment but got such a positive reaction from friends and family she decided to turn it into a business. Check out her Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/BakedWithStyle/ If you can’t make it to the market and if you’re in Clevedon, you’ll find her jewellery in Ziggy’s, home of the most fabulous selection of original, creative goodies. Here’s to continued success Alex
The final site on the trail is Kustom Floors and Furniture. There are four stalls on this site and I’d like to start off by telling you a little bit about the lovely business ‘These two hands’ run by Naomi. I say ‘a little bit’ because the birth of this business is such an interesting, inspirational story that Naomi tells so eloquently on her website, and I think you should read it for yourself https://thesetwohands.co.uk/
Naomi has put together a beautiful selection of handcrafted gifts and accessories inspired in some way by nature and the outdoors, whether it is the materials, the inks, the designs or all of those things combined. She is passionate about supporting handmade and independent shops and showcases the work of over twenty makers, mostly from Bristol and the South West.
In curating this beautiful collection, Naomi is keen to stress that she is not advocating the purchase of more ‘stuff’ to clutter up your shelves but the purchase of beautifully crafted products for everyday use, made with care and love and using traditional techniques.
The last stall I’m going to introduce you to is that of the Clevedon based business. CW Bespoke Planters. These planters that Chris creates are the highest quality, handcrafted products, I’d go as far as saying they are truly works of art created by someone with the most incredible attention to detail.
Chris believes in making his products the old fashioned way, he puts tremendous time and effort into everything he creates – you won’t find any screws on show; the corners are each hand-cut and slotted into place; there are no batons in the corners. Each individual item is built to stand the test of time. I was not at all surprised to hear that he has just had his best-ever year, turning over more than double last year as he’s expanded his business into benches and storage solutions.
Chris will consider any design request, from small squares to complete garden borders. There is no upper size limit. Check out his website https://cwplanters.co.uk/ or his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CWBespokePlanters/ which has details of all his latest products.