Here in the UK, today is being touted as Small Business Saturday- a day to get out onto the high street and into the markets and support small, independent traders in the run up to Christmas.
As any reader of my blog will know, I love my local producer, and the producers of the north west are some of the best in the land. However, I am also a user of supermarkets and make no apologies for that –but I do support regional and artisan producers when I can.
Today however I needed no excuse; I already had the day earmarked to visit the market at Salford Quays. The website promised a hundred stalls and there was a really good mix of food and drink, hot food, crafts and gifts. So many markets are full of duplicate stands (often cupcakes) but there was none of that today and the quality seems really high as well.
I came away with a proper haul of goodies- many of which are now adorned with post-it notes warning the other half not to eat before Christmas!
Given that it’s Small Business Saturday, I thought I would do a roll call of honour for those who made it into my stash!
- Levanter Fine Foods (Lancs) – stockpiled on chorizo and paprika to see us through Christmas. It is the best chorizo you can buy in the north west!
- Ma Beans Puddings (Ramsbottom) – sticky toffee pudding and extra sticky toffee sauce for Christmas day. The sauce will be folded through some home made ice cream
- Port of Lancaster Smokehouse (Lancs)- Lancashire haggis, potted shrimps and smoked bacon pieces. The latter will be used on Christmas day with shredded sprouts and cream
- Martins Bakery (Gtr Manchester) – a Manchester sourdough. Never had this before but it is earmarked for breakfast tomorrow with…
- Pig & Co (Cheshire) – 97% pork sausages. The sage ones we tested had sold out by the time we went back. You snooze, you loose…
- Acorn Aromatics – beautiful scented candles
The Victorian Christmas Market is at Salford Quays until Sunday 8th December (‘Victorian’ = some quirky street theatre and a merry-go-round, everything else is thankfully 21st century) and is well worth a visit as an alternative to the sometimes chaotic city centre markets. Just one tip- go early, or go by tram!
Buying from small businesses is for life, not just one Saturday in December, but this market is the perfect showcase for the multitude of quality independent traders on our doorstep.