The East Oxford Farmers' & Community Market is a small, friendly local market which can provide the staples for your weekly shop: bread, eggs, milk, vegetables, cheese, various meats, refills for cleaning supplies - as well as a range of other products such as jewellery, clothing and secondhand books. The majority of our producers are from within 30 miles of Oxford; for our full trading policy see our Market Manifesto.
It has been running since August 2006. Starting with just six stalls it has since grown into a local institution, offering a huge range of top quality local food and more every Saturday morning.
The market also has a cafe which runs each week selling delicious breakfasts, lunches, cakes and fair-trade teas and coffee. This is a lovely place to meet up and take a break from shopping.
The market is wheelchair accesible both inside and outside. Please contact us if you have any further questions about accesibility.
East Oxford Farmers' & Community Market is a non-profit making organisation - a Community Benefit Society - run by a committee and a group of volunteers.
A very potted history
by Brian Levison, Honorary Chair
In the 2005 East Oxford council elections, the local Green party made an election promise to start a farmers' market if re-elected. Following its success, there was a public meeting in The Magic Café in February 2006 and a working party was formed of residents and potential stallholders. Unfortunately the committee's first choice venue - the East Oxford Primary school - was unavailable due to building works. Our next choice was the Asian Cultural Centre in Manzil Way and, hearts in mouth, we opened there on August 12th 2006. The inrush of customers took us by surprise: the market obviously met a need.
It was only six stalls and a cafe to start with. Gradually the market grew to 10-12 stalls, but after a couple of years the organisers felt that the opening hours of 12.00-3.00 - allocated by the Cultural centre - and the market's less than central location were holding us back. We renewed negotiations with the school and relocated there in February 2009, changing the opening hours to the current 10.00-1.00. It was a bitterly cold day and very icy and Josie Webber and I worried that no one would turn up. But our customers have always been very loyal and turned out in numbers despite the weather.
Since then, the market has become a recognised part of East Oxford life and, thanks to the energy and imagination of its committee - all of them volunteers - has grown to a good size. We continue to follow the green principles on which we were founded as detailed in our Market Manifesto. We now average about 20 stalls a week with over 30 in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
We also take an active part in the growing movement of similar organisations in the area through Oxford Community Markets.
Perhaps our proudest moment so far came in 2011 when, recommended by our customers, we were one of three finalists in the BBC Food and Farming Awards in the category of Best Food Market, only five years after our founding. We got plenty of exposure on the The Food Programme and TV and had a great day going up to the NEC, though we didn't quite manage to win - beaten out by a market with all the resources of a large northern city council.
To end, thanks to all who support us. We have terrific, loyal stallholders (unimaginably, we have had the same two veg stalls, Sandy Lane Farm and The Clays, taking alternating markets since the very first week we started!) and many others have been with us since the days of Manzil Way. We have always had excellent market co-ordinators such as Josie Webber (who was still working in the week leading up to the birth of her first child), Helen Hewlett and currently, Richard Howlett. Finally we have wonderful customers. Some are long term and have been with us since Manzil Way. And every year we have a new intake of students who discover us and kindly pass the news of our existence on to the next generation. One year our customers generously raised over £1,000 to aid one of our volunteers make his case for leave to remain in the country, ultimately successfully. Thank you for your principled support - we will do our best to continue to deserve it.