September 21 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, August 18, 2012
A GARAGE manager is swapping engines and exhausts for fresh fruit and veg as he embarks on a community mission to set up a farmers market in Gorleston.
Chris Browne, body shop manager at Pertwee and Back accident repair centre, wants to establish a foodie bazaar in the town to give fellow residents an opportunity to pick up local produce and meet with suppliers. But he is also keen to turn the market into a community hub where neighbours can get to know each other, network with businesses and visa versa.
His plans are beginning to take shape as he has secured several suppliers, including The Norfolk Hamper Company from Caister, Bella Cupcakes near Yarmouth and Perry the butchers from Cobholm, to set up shop in the workshop of the Lowestoft Road garage - which will be cleared of cars to make way for shoppers.
The dad of three, 38, was inspired by a friend who runs a garage in Lancashire and began running successful sale days from his workshop, which are now a regular event and help raise money for local causes.
Mr Browne, from Brasenose Avenue, said: “We want to draw the community in. I’m quite a foodie person and previous markets we have been to are great and I think it could be really good.
“It’s really a build-it-and-they’ll-come-event. If I got 200 people I’d be absolutely honoured and humbled.”
He is now working on bringing more stalls into the market, which he has set for a date for next month, and is using social media such as e Twitter to spread the word.
“If it went really well I would like to do two or three a year,” Mr Browne added, “And I’d love to do a Christmas one because I really love the Christmas buzz.”
The event will also be raising money for the 2nd Gorleston Cubs, which Mr Browne’s three sons attend, and young members of the group will be on hand or car washes to help boost their coffers.
Mr Browne added: “I think it’s something that might unite everybody and be a bit of a community get-together.”
The market is being held at Pertwee and Back on Sunday, September 30.
Anyone interested in taking a stall can contact Mr Browne on 01493 442775 or 07771803736.