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Sweet smell of success for C&M's pantry at Walled City Market

03 May 2017

With summer well and truly in the air, the Walled City Market scheduled to take place this Saturday, 06 May, in Derry’s Waterloo Place, is set to be another big success with its unique variety of quality artisan food and craft produce.

The market comes following the first ever Council-run market held in Strabane last Friday and a walled city market that was held last weekend in Guildhall Square to coincide with the City of Derry Jazz Festival. The operation of food markets is a key priority for Derry City and Strabane District Council who is committed to promoting local food produce and giving local food producers a forum to showcase their produce.

Among those taking part at the Walled City Market are local firm, C&M’s Pantry, run by Michael and Cathy Quigley, who are delighted to bring a little sweetness to the city centre every month with their selection of produce that will certainly tantalise the taste buds with tasty range of top quality, freshly handmade bakery goods including cakes, biscuits, bread and savoury bakes, jams, chutneys and other relevant seasonal pantry goods.

Michael Quigley from C&M’s Pantry is delighted to be part of the Walled City Market and is looking forward to welcoming customers along at the weekend. “My wife Cathy and myself started C&M’s Pantry just over three years ago. Having met at Catering College 27 years ago, working with food has interested us for some time. Although our jobs may have changed in over two decades one question would consistently reappear: Could we make a living from our passion for producing good, old-fashioned, no nonsense, honest, food? In October 2013 Invest NI in conjunction with the former Derry City Council launched a Market Start-Up Programme organised by Council. The programme was intended to enable people to launch or develop a business through Market trading – that question just wouldn’t go away and C&M’s Pantry was opened tentatively to the community through a series of Markets.

“After taking part in the programme we signed up as regular traders at Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Monthly Walled City Market. We are registered as a food producer with the local council and have a 5 in our Hygiene rating. Three years on from our first Market we both continue to work part-time jobs and devote our spare time to producing good, old-fashioned, no nonsense, honest, food. 

“We produce a small range of good quality freshly handmade bakery goods, (cakes, biscuits, bread and savoury bakes) jams, chutneys and other relevant seasonal pantry goods. Everything is genuinely freshly handmade at home for market. All goods use fresh ingredients that are bought locally and traditional old -fashioned recipes are followed.”

Michael believes that participation in the Walled City Marathon is a great way to engage with customers. “C&M’s Pantry like taking part in the market as it is a fantastic setting within the Guildhall square for a regular monthly market. The location is excellent, as it is in the heart of the city with good footfall passing. It is a historic and attractive space. There are a broad range of talented food and craft producers there to provide conversation, choice, interest and atmosphere to locals and visitors.

He believes it has really benefited the business and broadened their customer base. “The council have committed to providing and developing a Market to traders on regular dates and have worked hard to develop, advertise and promote the event. The Walled City Market has enabled C&M’s Pantry to develop an attractive stall with high quality products and to bring this to the heart of the local community while maintaining fair/decent prices. It allows us to be where we want to be – in our city talking to local people and visitors about our passion for producing good, old-fashioned, no nonsense, honest, food.

Moving forward the couple are very optimistic about the future. Cathy explains: “Our vision is to have a regular attractive stall, locally, where customers can be guaranteed very high quality foods, which have been carefully prepared, using good quality ingredients, at a decent/fair price. A stall where they will be valued as customers and treated courteously and professionally.

“C&M’s Pantry is very much a fledgling endeavour. People often ask us “Is it a success?” Although we could not claim huge financial success we are fortunate to have some very loyal customers who have supported us. We have found this a very encouraging foundation to build on! We hugely enjoy producing the goods that we make and have a great pride for what we do. We have also experienced the success of being awarded a Bronze in the Artisan category at the World Marmalade Awards 2015 and a Gold and Silver in 2017,” she added.

Customers at the Walled City Market can look forward to picking up a wide range of local high quality foods at the variety of market stall.  The market will operate from 11am to 4pm.  For more information about the market visit www.derrystrabane.com/walledcitymarket

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