Town and Country Markets
Cornish Market World – The cream of Cornwall
Cornish Market World celebrates its 25th birthday in November and the successful Cornish indoor market complex is undergoing quite a facelift.
Based in St Austell, the biggest growth town in Cornwall, just a short distance from the Eden Project and a few miles from where the popular TV series Poldark is filmed, Cornish Market World is hugely popular with tourists, particularly during the summer season. The children had returned to school and it was officially the end of the summer holidays on the day I visited, but coaches were still arriving and the locals were in full force. The indoor market hall is situated on a large leisure park and a multimillion pound investment has been made by operators Town and Country Markets to update the area and to make it even more attractive to visitors. Cornucopia will be a new food and drink visitor destination showcasing regional food and drink, with cookery demonstrations, interactive exhibits including the history of the Cornish pasty, and a licensed café bar. It is expected that the new complex will be ready for opening for next summer. John Snowball, the Market Manager at Cornish Market World and a former trader himself, having auctioneered towels for over 20 years from the back of a trailer said, ‘Coming to the market is an event. It’s a whole day out for family, locals and visitors alike. Our customers love it and we are adding to that attraction.
We will never lose the market.’The indoor market has an open, spacious feel about it and a natural flow throughout. There are two modern, clean,
toilet blocks with both disabled and baby changing facilities, three cafes, outside catering trailers, eight coach parking bays and over 2000 free parking places. It’s therefore not surprising that they are running at 100% occupancy.
The market has a mix of your weekly shopping essentials, interspersed with gifts, higher end purchases and some fantastic local produce.
The Market Butcher
Steve has been trading at the market for 18 years. He has two types of customers that he caters for, the freezer fillers and the old generation who want individual items. He has lots of repeat customers and is busy with tourists in the holiday season. Most of his meat is local, with the exception of the lamb, which comes from New Zealand.
No visit to Cornwall is complete without sampling a pasty and Stuart, the son of the proprietors can often be seen demonstrating how the pasties are made and uses ingredients purchased from the market. They have three shops and great local support. Other regional specialities include lardy cake and saffron cake – their best seller Penare Farms The beef from Penare Farms is from their own Dexter cattle and Market Manager John told me ‘It’s the finest meat you’ll ever taste.’ Unfortunately I was staying in the area so couldn’t take any home with me. Penare Farm has a large offering in the market. As well as their beef, they also have a deli counter selling Cornish butter and cheeses, homemade pies and their own gammon, fresh fruit and vegetables and groceries. Liz and Dick have traded at the market since it opened and have built up a reputation for quality from both revisiting tourists and locals. They also supply to restaurants and butchers in the area.
The Wine House
John McCormick took over the existing off licence in March and has focused on local ales and ciders. He is a first time trader and is really happy with the footfall in the market. He is proud to be able to showcase local microbreweries and even has one beer from a small brewery that just makes that! International Foods have been trading at the market for three months. A deli counter at the front sells large samosas, bhajis and Indian sweets whilst to the rear is a shop selling pre dominantly Asian foods. Anne the shop manager told me that the shop was doing well and that they try to get items in especially for customers.
Whirlwind Sports sponsor the Cornish Pirates and Cornish County Rugby Clubs and they have four shops as well as the market selling discounted and end of line sportswear. They have been at the market for two years and trade is fairly seasonal and Danny, the Manager told me that ‘John works really hard here for the market.’ There are quite a few husband and wife combinations on the market, some working together and some with separate stalls. Mandy Rawlett of Kiss and Make up sells cosmetics and hair accessories which are beautifully displayed, whilst husband Steve runs The Book Stall, selling both children’s and adult books. Both have put a lot of effort into the presentation of their goods. Whilst Kathy’s partner runs one of the cafes, she can be found on her own small stall selling bath bombs and wax melts that she buys in, whilst making folded book art. She saw the idea on the internet and thought ‘I can do that.’ She has been trading for a year and a half and said the market was ‘a good market which is clean, bright and busy.’ Joe Hobbs and his wife Trish are keen fishers. They took over an existing stall last December and have extended in to three stalls selling an impressive array of fishing tackle and accessories. The displays on T&J’s Tackle is excellent and they are pleased with the customer response. Husband and wife Adrian and Josie from The Box Stall have traded since the Market opens. They have a large shopping area selling household items and have been through some tough times with competition from discount store chains, but they have survived on volume and the personal service,
Cornish Market World is a well run, bright and spacious indoor market. Its location certainly helps with the huge footfall but it is also supported well locally. The management and the traders clearly take pride in their market, with many of the units having a real ‘shop’ type feel about them where you can go in, browse, pick stuff up, but have a friendly face to get advice from at the same time, – retaining the sense of camaraderie you get from a market environment. I look forward to seeing the new Visitor
Centre next summer to see the positive impact it has on the market. Long may it continue to thrive.
For more information about trading on this brilliant market please contact the Market Manager John Snowball
tel 07979 243 267