It's been a while ! (originally posted November 18th 2012)
By gatewaycollective, Aug 24 2014 08:55PM
It’s been ages since my last blog about the coldest market ever and at the moment things are feeling good at Gateway Collective towers. We have now got a regular pitch at Prescot Farmers market on the first Saturday of the month and takings are on the up. We have some regular customers and we are learning what sells and what doesn’t (generally people under age 40 ish like Chilli Jam and Red Onion relish and men over 50 are a fan of Traditional Ale Chutney!) The best thing about the markets is they are fun. I love meeting new people and chatting to them about the chutneys available and what they could try it with. I also enjoy continuing the relationship each month – there’s a woman at Prescot who loves the lime marmalade and will come back most months for more. It’s so good to chat to her and find out how she is getting on. It’s time to work out what our next markets should be and how we could staff them. With Christmas coming up we have a few Christmas markets and fairs booked in. The first is at ‘The Foundary’ in Runcorn next Sat on 24th Nov. Please come down and say hi if you are in the area! We still have an eye on developing the social enterprise and training aspect to the Gateway Collective. We’ve attended a few training events (thanks Blackburn House and SSE North West!) and feel more confident about going forward with this. We also recruited 2 fabulous volunteers to work with us in October at the Bootle food festival (Caroline and Rachel you know who you are!) and it was amazing to be able to hook Rachel up with the North Perk cafe social enterprise due to open in the Bootle Strand soon. She has an interview on Thursday for an apprenticeship position and we’re praying that she gets it! Whilst progress has been really slow on our website and online presence we have finally arrived on twitter – @thegatewaycoll – and have at least bought our website domain name! It’s just been so time consuming and difficult to do everything that is needed whilst working full time and being a mum to my 2 gorgeous boys. I’ve come to terms with the fact that progress will be slow but hopefully effective! There have been many times that I’ve questioned why I am doing this! I am very aware that setting up a business that sells chutney and textile products is fundamentally bonkers! It just comes down to the fact that I believe this is what God wants me to do. Times are really tough and people are struggling. Bootle in North Liverpool is an area characterised largely by poverty, substance misuse and crime. This is not how it needs to be. It’s time for the church to stand up and be counted! To say that people are important and that the future is not predetermined to be negative but can be positive and free. To forward this vision we’ll sell chutney and bags and be ready for what the future holds!