On the 10th September 2023, Riverside Farmers’ Market will celebrate a quarter-century of connecting local farmers, producers and artisans to the wider Cardiff community.
Running on a weekly basis on Fitzhammon Embankment (opposite Principality Stadium) the award-winning market is widely recognised as one of the key food attractions in the Welsh capital, for local residents and visitors alike and has grown to become one of the best-known farmers’ markets in the U.K.
Since it was first founded in 1998, Riverside Farmers Market has been a symbol of good food, sustainability and community, supporting local producers and offering a diverse array of fresh, high-quality products. It has served as a platform for local producers, farmers and artisans to showcase their goods, while providing Cardiff residents with access to the freshest produce and locally made food.
As a not-for-profit social enterprise, the markets keep overheads as low as possible, helping the traders to build their businesses profitably, and supporting them behind the scenes to develop their brands; many market traders have gone on to run successful bricks and mortar businesses.
Paving the way
Deri Reed was a regular at Riverside Market between the years 2010 – 2012 with his market stall The Ethical Chef. His experiences of trading at the market paved the way for him to open his now well-established and award-winning restaurant The Warren in Carmarthen.
Deri explained, “The time I spent trading at Riverside was incredibly magical for me. It gave me an opportunity to meet my customers, test my ideas and have access to the best produce Wales has to offer – and I have been buying produce from some of them ever since. “
The success of Riverside Farmers Market has also enabled two more weekly markets to thrive; operating under the broader name of Cardiff Farmers Markets – the organisers behind Riverside also run Rhiwbina Farmers Market (every Friday), and Roath Farmers Market (every Saturday). They also organise regular pop-up markets at Cardiff Metropolitan University so that the local student population can connect with local food.
Riverside Market was originally founded by local resident Steve Garrett, who was inspired by his experience running an organic vegetable stall at a popular farmers’ market in Halifax, Canada.
Steve said, “Although I’m no longer directly involved with the running of the markets, it’s brilliant to see them thriving and growing. They make it possible for more people in Cardiff to enjoy the best of Welsh food, and more local producers to make a living doing what they love – and contributing to a strong and sustainable Welsh economy.”
In addition to offering a wide selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and baked goods, Riverside Farmers Market has long been a hub of community activity. From cooking demonstrations to street food events and live music performances, the market provides a vibrant and welcoming space for Cardiff’s diverse population to come together over good food.
Food Cardiff is a city-wide partnership of individuals and organisations which acts as a hub for connecting the people and projects working to promote healthy, environmentally sustainable and ethical food across the city.
Food Cardiff Coordinator Pearl Costello said, “Cardiff Farmers Markets have been part of our Food Cardiff network since we were founded; farmers markets like Riverside play a fundamental role in connecting food which is good for the planet and producers to communities, but they are also a place for social connection and inspiration. The success of Riverside Market over 25 years is a real testament to this.”
25th Anniversary Celebrations
Riverside Farmers Market will be making some special additions to the market on September 10th . Some of the planned activities include:
- 10 – 10:30 – Live music from Cardiff Farmers Market board member Harriet Kennerly
- 10:30 – 11:15 – A sourdough bread demo from regular trader Pettigrew Bakeries
- 11:30 – 12 – Live music from local singer Julie Gordon supported by saxophone player Christine Heath and Riverside Market founder, Steve Garrett
- 12 – 1 – Tutored chocolate tasting with new market trader Vicolei Sei
David Moisan, current chair of RMCA Markets Volunteer Board added, “We want to invite everyone, from long-time supporters to first-time visitors, to join in with our 25th-anniversary festivities. This landmark occasion is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that local producers and foodie artisans have had on the city.”
For the latest updates on the 25th-anniversary celebrations and to learn more about Cardiff Farmers Markets – including the weekly markets in Riverside, Roath and Rhiwbina – please visit the official website at www.cardifffarmersmarkets.co.uk.