Monday, 31 May 2010
It is hard to believe that it is now the fourth summer for Whitstable Harbour Village.
After modest beginnings where the market resembled a refugee camp on the quay-side, we are now up to 20 smart fisherman's huts. Three new huts have opened this year, with three new traders on show for summer 2010 and one more to arrive soon.
In those four years we have been victimised, patronised, marginalised and even pedestrianised but we carry on regardless flying the flag and trying to help keep our local harbour about local people.
No subsidies, no EU grants, no arts council hand outs and no council rent or rates concessions by the way.
About eight of our original traders (artists, photographers, food producers and crafts people) have now moved on to bigger and better things setting up retail premises or galleries in local towns and contributing more to the local economy. The village is finally earning some modest recognition as an incubator for fledgling local business that can start up without taking huge risks or making massive investments.
So welcome to Peter and Jessica at Cocoa and Spice the artisan patissiere. Their home-made cakes, tartes, cheesecake and chocolate mousse are now firmly established as part of my calorie out of control diet. Less guilt is inflicted by the new Whitstable Juice Company who offer juices and wonderful smoothies from locally sourced fruits with special kiddy's juices to keep the young ones in good health. The Juice Company is partly owned by Mark at Granny Smith's green-grocers in the High Street making our third high street retailer to open an outlet in the village.
And more is coming soon including Whitstable's own silversmiths...