If you didn’t know already on the first Sunday of each month we hold a Craft Market, a bigger and better version of our Yorkshire markets that we launched in 2011.
Our markets have gone down a real treat, proving really popular with our shoppers who enjoy being able to browse the rails of our high street brands, as well as pick up unique, quality crafts and handmade goods all in one go.
The real secret behind their success is the lovely market traders who come along each month, set up stalls and create the hustle and bustle of the market place that you have all come to love.
So we decided to catch up with one of those stall holders, Karen Tuck from KT’s Kitchen Yorkshire who creates a range of quality, artisan foods, to find out a little more about her business and just why she decided to get involved with our Craft Markets.
Karen comments: “I launched KT’s Kitchen Yorkshire in May 2014, but like many new businesses, the concept and research actually began 5 years prior to this.
“As you can imagine, I had a great deal of research to do from understanding about food legislation to deciding upon my label design. I wanted to ensure that every aspect of the company was spot on before I launched it and this attention to detail continues to this day as my range of products grow and adapt.
“Operating from my home, I now produce jam, marmalade and chutneys which contain no preservatives or artificial gelling agents, as well as traybakes, chocolate shoes and truffles. I also produce a range of gift items including the ever-popular dried ingredient jars.
“After having The Ridings’ Craft Markets recommended to me by a friend and a fellow trader who had taken one of the stalls there, I decided to take the plunge and join in with the fun. It gives me great pleasure to meet customers face to face with some of them returning time after time.
“As I have my full range stocked within Created in Yorkshire based in The Ridings, it is the perfect opportunity to extend my reach and meet customers who purchase from the shop, as well as attract new ones who come to the centre just for the market.
“Being able to meet customers face to face is what makes the Craft Markets so enjoyable. It’s just my products that are on display in Created in Yorkshire, so I wouldn’t have the chance to meet my customers if it wasn’t for the monthly Markets. Importantly people are also able to put a face to the person behind the business.
“I love meeting potential new customers, finding out what tickles their taste buds and establishing which of my products would be most suitable for them.
“I also have my regular customers who enjoy coming along to the markets and restocking their cupboards full of their favourite items. It is such a wonderful feeling and privilege when a customer comes back to purchase from my range again or to buy an item as a gift for that special someone.
“I never like to miss a market as I see no point in establishing loyal customers and then not being there for them, so I will attend each market from April right through to December.
“As a small business I have to work hard to keep my current customers and to also attract new ones, so it makes sense for me to regularly attend each market and keep the brand at the fore front of peoples’ minds.
“I started the business wanting to concentrate on just chocolate items, however I expanded this to include jams, marmalades and chutneys and it is actually this part of KT’s Kitchen Yorkshire that forms the bulk of my sales.
“My personal favourites and those that have proven most popular amongst customers are the Pineapple and Lime Jam, Grapefruit and Cranberry Marmalade and the Sweet Chilli Relish. If you like something different, I would certainly recommend that you come along and sample some of my delicious flavours.
“Whilst I love my jams and chutneys, as I have a real sweet tooth, my favourite item to make is chocolate. Tempering chocolate by hand takes a lot of precision and patience and is more like a science.
“I really enjoy creating the chocolate truffles, but the satisfaction I get from making a beautifully decorated and personalised chocolate shoe is very rewarding – they certainly have the wow factor and make the perfect gift!
“As ever I’ll be at The Ridings’ next Craft Market taking place on Sunday 5th July, so make sure you save the date, pop along to my stall and say hello!”