8:02am Thursday 5th September 2013
IT was a great start to Chepstow's revamped farmers' market at the weekend, with many stallholders selling out.
Everyone who signed up had their street trading licence fee covered by the town council and there was no pitch fees or charge for electricity.
Weekly farmers' markets throughout September are part of a food theme in the town, The Chepstow Local Food Challenge.
This will last a month and see a group of residents, which includes members of Transition Chepstow take up the challenge to eat food that is produced or grown locally, as far as possible, within a 30-mile radius.
A town council spokeswoman said: "Chepstow Town Council is supporting the market and helping stall holders to establish their businesses. Last Saturday’s market proved a huge success with many stall holders selling out."
Each of the forthcoming markets will have a core of local producers plus specialist guest stalls.
Mayor Stephanie Dovey and Cllr Gerry Rowe were amongst those sampling some of the produce at the weekend.
Cllr Rowe said: "There was a great atmosphere. The town clerk is to be congratulated for planning this first week."
The market plan stemmed from a survey carried out by the town council and Action for Market Towns (AMT).
Residents and visitors were asked for their views on matters like retail offering, footfall, car parking and business confidence.
Feedback was that people wanted to see Chepstow markets flourish again.
The town council is providing a hamper of the produce each week for a free prize draw.
Tickets are issued by stallholders to all shoppers spending well at their stall and this week's winner was a surprised but delighted Ian Durbin of Woodcroft.
This weekend's event is expected to feature pies and honey from Elm Tree Foods, speciality breads and cakes from Wigmores Bakery, cakes, pastries, eggs and cheese from Sarah Stone plus Chepstow Country Market.
Shoppers are advised to check the town council notice board and website for more details.
The market plan is due to run until September 28.
The town's Farmers' Market is normally held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in Cormeilles Square and Chepstow Senior Citizens Centre, while a country produce market is on alternate Fridays and Saturdays at Chepstow Senior Citizens Centre, Cormeilles Square.
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