Creativity and community come together once again to celebrate the best of Bedford at Bedford Flea. With a smorgasbord of second-hand goods, talented artists, locally grown ingredients and homemade produce, market organisers Talia Giles and Laura Holmes are hosting their biggest ever series of events.
Talia Giles, market co-manager says “Bedford is living up to its reputation for having a thriving indie business community – this year we have 26, new grass-roots businesses to introduce across our eight dates with space to add more later in the year. It’s an incredible number considering these are skilled, hard-working individuals who don’t have bricks and mortar shops, that are having to compete in a difficult, and ever-changing retail climate”.
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“Our Flea section has almost doubled, with high quality-vintage clothing, regular vinyl sellers, furniture, antiques and collectables for all budgets. The affordable art category is really exciting this year, with more male artists and exciting disciplines from street photography to etching.
In local produce, we have an Easter themed special with additions such as loaded chocolate bars, dipped strawberries and bunnies from The Old Chapel Cake Co, jams and preserves, biltong and spice rubs. We are extremely excited about our new eco-friendly refill station by Doctors House. All this on top of our alumni of market regulars such as grown-not-flown flowers from Hay Lane, Nutcellars, Bunty’s Bakes and the Harrold Cider Company.”
Laura Holmes, market co-manager says “As well as the public, the council have been incredible in their support. We have been fortunate to receive a grant following our application to the Town Centre Priority fund that will pay for our digital marketing push this year (last year we had zero budget). This is a much-needed addition to help fulfil our aim of becoming a destination market, pulling in crowds from neighbouring counties”.
“But, the most-heartening news, is that we know we are making a difference to small businesses. Just look at Caution Vintage who had their first ‘shop front’ experience with us last year on the markets. They have gone from strength to strength and went straight on to host a pop-up shop and now have their own permanent premises in Bedford’s Howard centre. We know our formula works, that’s living proof. It would be wonderful to see more of our stallholders following suit this year.”
This 10 April market will see some very special guests: the now infamous Pete Bacon of Fold Me Close will be on site with his new pizza van called Pam, throwing his Neopolitan style pizza dough. There’s even a special breakfast pizza (and vegan one too) with an exciting competition being run in partnership with Caution Vintage (announced 4 April).
We will also have a debut from Priscilla of Little Dutch Pancakes and her hot pockets of deliciousness. Local singer songwriter Amy Mason, who has an incredible voice will be serenading shoppers for the day along with a couple of her musical friends.
The market runs on the second Sunday of the month, from April until November on St. Paul’s Square, Bedford, MK40 1SL. Opening hours are 10am – 3pm.
Stallholder applications are always open; to apply or find out more about our market and stallholders visit Bedford Flea on Instagram and Facebook, or see their website. Free parking on Sundays in council owned car parks.