Farmers’ market in West Hampstead?

You’ll remember back in April that I asked you all to say what sort of market you’d like to see set up by the new Thameslink station. I passed your comments on to our local councillors who were taking them into account.

I never aggregated the results for you on here. So here they are:
Food – 33 votes
Crafts/gifts – 6 votes
Antiques – 5 votes
A mix of all the above 3 votes
Food with flea market once a month – 2 votes
Books – 1 vote

It was clear that food was the most popular and there was a strong sense that people wanted good quality “normal” food rather than it all being cakes and “treats” (apart from people who run cake companies who said they wanted cakes).

You’ll also remember that I banged on about the fact that, as much as we might want it, it wouldn’t be a farmers market. This was what I’d been told – and was consistent with previous discussions about the lack of space.

So, imagine my surprise when I found out that it now looks like it’s going to be a proper farmers market. Apparently, London Farmers’ Markets (who organise most of the main farmers’ markets in London, including Queens Park) is in discussion with Network Rail (who own the land) about a Saturday market with around 18 stalls.

This is very much still in the negotiation stage and is not confirmed. It wouldn’t start until September. Of course being an official farmers’ market would mean that local would-be stallholders would be squeezed out if they were not accredited. Is it better to have a a high-grade market that attracts people to the area, or a mixed market with local businesses taking more of the direct revenue? I would argue the former model is more sustainable. It’s also possible – as has happened at Swiss Cottage – that a successful farmers’ market could spill over into other market trading days in the same space.

  • Anonymous

    Farmers market on Saturday / smaller number of local stallholders during weekdays to catch commuters?

  • Anonymous

    wonderful news – how about plants too – with the demise of the garden centre

  • Anonymous

    Great news. Really looking forward to quality farmers market without the cakes!!
    Many people work during week so for us weekend markets are really important

  • Anonymous

    There may be an opportunity for local businesses/people to take a stall at the market. Anyone interested can contact me and I will put them in touch with the orgainser. David Matthews (Dutch & Dutch) 020 7794 7788

  • Anonymous

    Farmers markets are great but do we really need another one with ones already in Queen's Park and Swiss Cottage? It would be nice to see something a bit more affordable for a change as I buy stuff at the farmers market as a treat rather than a regular shop because it can become quite expensive.

    • The proper farmers market in Swiss Cottage is only on Wednesday (the other market stalls are more random), so not much help for those who work. And if you live the east side of WH then QP is a fairly long way away. I think a lot of people buy stuff as a treat – that’s why it’s not daily, and not everything is more expensive. If this is the best way to ensure that the food is decent quality then I’m ok with it. It’s true that a simple “market” would be nice, but as we now lack the structures to operate markets as you get in other parts of Europe, I’ll take the compromise.

      It should also attract more people into West Hampstead, which is only good for local businesses.

    • DottyinLondon

      We go to the Farmer's Market in Hampstead Heath/Gospel Oak on a Saturday and whilst the meat is quite expensive (totally worth it, but I appreciate not everyone can afford it), we find the veg is significantly cheaper than supermarkets etc – you can get an enormous carrier bag full for about £3-4. Similarly fresh flowers are usually £2-3 a bunch. And all better quality too!

  • Anonymous

    Oh wonderful! – Can i VOTE now! – Am i too late! ho ho ho – Yes – Food Market with flowers in West Hampstead – Oh plzzzzzz – That's what is definately missing here! – I feel we live in a little village but missing a little weekly market were i can get my fruit and veg – I do like the Tescos and Sainsburys for convenience; but I would LOVE a farmers market there weekly that i would be loyal

  • Anonymous

    there are farmers markets all over London, so i find the idea people will travel into west hampstead to visit a small one baffling. I think it would be much better if any market were to spring up to include and promote local businesses. where can local businesses go to grow? the village feel people talk about in west hampstead is not consistent with a high street of costa coffee, starbucks, tesco’s, sainsbury. the council also need to think about traffic and its impact on any market event. west hampstead is becoming more clogged up all the time. imo there are too many sets of lights in a short space on WEL and a market in the sweet spot between 3 transport hubs around a congested road will lead to chaos and could even keep people away from west hampstead. the ‘supermarkets’ have not helped. at the w/e the road is blocked by their huge lorries

    • I’m not sure whether local businesses would get meaningful growth from a weekly market. The businesses I’ve spoken to find that even things like the Christmas market are not money spinners.

      I believe that there will be some scope for some local stalls to operate alongside the farmers market. Given that the demand for food was higher than anything else, a farmers market surely makes sense. As farmers markets are all on different days of the week, i think people are happy to travel if they want to buy stuff on a Saturday.

      And surely the congestion issue you raise would be the same whether it was a local market or a farmers market? Although I suspect that a local market would be far less popular.

  • Anonymous

    has anybody thought about where market stall holders could park/prepare to set-up?

    • Yes, I think they have. This is why there hasn't been a market until now – nowhere has been large enough.

  • Anonymous

    My business partners and I were looking to promote our products to West Hampstead market first (as we are local as well) our products would be affordable and innovative as well. We want to provide our customers with exceptional yet simple food and West Hampstead is the right place for us. However we have no idea who to contact to enquiry about the prices and licence we need to open a stall there,

    • Drop me a mail (contact details in menu at top of page) and I can direct you to the right person