Gorleston farmers market success story

A GARAGE manager who gave up his time to set up a farmers market in Gorleston was 'shellshocked, humbled and amazed' by the support shown by local people.

Chris Browne, body shop manager at Pertwee and Back accident repair centre, wanted to establish a 'foodie bazaar' in the town to give fellow residents an opportunity to pick up local produce and support struggling, small-time suppliers.

And after the very first outing of Gorleston Farmers Market, held at the garage on Lowestoft Road in Gorleston on Sunday, Mr Browne said he was blown away.

'It has gone phenomenally well. I think we are still a bit shellshocked to be honest. The only disappointment of the day was the three stalls that let me down - they simply didn't show up. We still had 13 stalls, and everybody said it was great. The feedback from most of the stalls was how fantastic it was.

'The footfall we had was amazing, about 200 to 300 people, traders sold so much and were surprised by how much interest there was.' Youngsters from the 2nd Gorleston Cub Scouts will benefit to the tune of �200 from the event which doubled up as a fundraiser - Mr Browne's three sons are members of the group and scouts mucked in and raised money by washing cars, with help from Pertwee and Back staff.

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But the main aim of the market was to bring something back to Gorleston that Mr Browne feels is missing.

'The sole aim was a community get-together,' said Mr Browne. 'We thought Gorleston doesn't really have anything any more. Some of the local traders work from home, they cannot afford a shop and survive on markets and get-togethers.'

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Mr Browne is now sitting down with fellow organisers to discuss the possibility of running a market in December but he will need to give himself time to recover from the shock of his first-time success.'

Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Mr Browne on 01493 442775 or 07771 803736.

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