What a fab autumn farmers’ market we had!
Last weekend we held our autumn farmers’ market here in the Bay and it was brilliant. We had over 25 stallholders attend (mainly our suppliers) selling everything from cheese, ice cream and preserves to kitchen equipment, fish and meat….and everything in between, including lovely Christmas decorations from Eden.
We’d set our apprentices a challenge this year – to design, make and sell a food product at the market on a budget of £200. They we’re given the challenge about 5 weeks beforehand and had been working hard on developing their products – taking advice from various members of Fifteen Cornwall staff – ie, , the chefs, finance, marketing etc. The apprentices were split into three groups and each team and their products were as follows:
- Tasty Cakes: Cupcakes, pancakes
- Posh Nosh: Beef stew, vegetarian stew, bacon sandwiches
- Pie In The Sky: Sweet and savoury pies, pasties
When I arrived around 8 o’clock they were all busy setting up their stalls and Posh Nosh had already sold a number of bacon sandwiches to stallholders. During lunchtime, when it got really busy there was a bottleneck of people around their stalls and each team were busy churning out their food like crazy. By 2pm, Pie in the Sky had sold out of food, but the pancakes, cupcakes and stew were still flying out. It was really great to see the apprentices get involved like this and it added such a lovely dimension to the market!
Throughout the day there were cooking demonstrations by local chefs, including our own Andy Appleton and a bread making demo from Baker Tom, who supplies us here at the restaurant. I didn’t get a chance to sit down and see any of them unfortunately as I was working on our stall (taking the money for the food and also selling merchandise), but I did get a chance to wonder around the market quickly, making purchases from Eden’s stall (I couldn’t resist the terracotta Halloween pumpkin, and the yummy orange scented cinnamon sticks) and of course I also had to buy from our own apprentices, so I had pies to take home for dinner, a delicious rocket, bacon and tomato pancake for my lunch, followed by a cupcake. I have to say, the cupcake displayed looked amazing.
I spent the afternoon manning La Credenza’s stall as Fabio had to head back to London. Fabio supplies us with delicious Italian cheeses like mozzarella and gooey burratta, as well as the infamous mammoth green Puglian olives. I learnt quite a lot about Italian produce in an afternoon!
At around 3 o’clock our CEO Dave Meneer announced the winner of the apprentice challenge……it was a big well done to Tasty Cakes who won by making the most profit. They were followed by Posh Nosh and lastly Pie In The Sky (if only they didn’t run out of product so early on!). All three teams did brilliantly – all made a profit and all worked really hard on the challenge. I think it was definitely a great insight for them all into how to run a small operation like this.
Thanks to everyone who got involved – from stallholders, guest chefs, staff and of course the apprentices.