8.30 am to 3.30 pm
Locally sourced produce
Within a forty mile radius of Saffron Walden
Seasonal fruit & vegetables, honey & apple juice
Veg box scheme
See our box scheme page for full details
Local business and school supply
Call us today on 01799 531113
Who puts the Walden Local Foodness into Walden Local Food?
Saffron Walden Community Interest Company is a "not for personal profit" organisation. We have four voluntary directors, a paid Market Manager and merry band of volunteers.
Born in Cumbria, Karen has a degree in Horticulture and spent several years as a garden designer and landscaper. Over 14 years ago she hung up her spade, and donned the star spattered design hat of a web wizard. During this time she worked for the University of Cambridge, the NHS and several commercial companies in a design, marketing, teaching and social networking capacity. More recently Karen has been studying food styling and food photography. Now a freelance designer she runs her own creative company, Tingri.
And for Walden Local Food? Well, one of our founding directors, Karen designed, created and keeps our website full of fresh, fruity information such as news stories and feature articles. Working with WLF also inspired Karen to learn how to cook, and she regularly whizzes up dishes, photographs them and shares in our recipes section. The WLF brand was shaped by Karen, which she manages as our marketing manager. Printed materials such as posters, business cards, leaflets and banners are all the products of her imagination, and she is known far and wide for her witty (ahem) content lead marketing on Twitter, Facebook and our e-newsletter. In her spare time, when not wearing wellies in the garden, she writes for The Herts & Essex Observer and can often be seen apron clad, Saturdays, vending vegetables.
After making the difficult decision to end her career as a qualified nurse, Liz took a course in floristry and found she had something of a creative flair. 10 years ago Liz opened a floristry business on a small retail park. Enjoying retail so much she opened a farm produce shop next door, specialising in local produce. Unfortunately the retail park was sold so she returned to working from home and selling veggies from her van. Karen ordered flowers from Liz’s floristry business – when asking for local flowers they knew we were on the same wavelength. A few years later Karen put Liz forward for the role of Market and Produce Manager - she applied with gusto.
Liz, recently, became a director. She sources, orders and picks up local produce each week - her eye for quality and freshness is second to none. Loving the interaction with suppliers and chatty, cheerful customers, Liz finds her role incredibly rewarding. Each and every Saturday, with the assistance of volunteers, Liz sets up our magnificent stall and sells local produce, helping to make it the vibrant hub of activity now synonymous with Walden Local Food.
At the end of the day, when the apron is carefully folded ready for next week, Liz enjoys singing at Folk clubs and venues, behind the mic as Beth Instead. Perhaps you caught her unforgettable performance at Stortfest?
Ian started his working life as a Saturday boy on the fruit and veg department in Sainsburys in the days when avocados were ludicrously über hip and supermarkets closed on Saturday afternoons at a civilised 4pm. After getting a couple of degrees in Politics he worked as a manager with Sainsburys and then joined the 7-Eleven convenience store group when they first opened in the UK. He later worked for Oddbins wine merchants in the glory days of their wilful eccentricity when they trail blazed Ozzie and South American wines to an eager new generation of drinkers. All good fun but the pay was lousy so he then developed a career in personnel management in the mistaken belief that it would be easy and well-paid.
For the past 20 plus years he has been able to combine this career with his interest in food and drink by heading up the human resources function for "Partridges of Sloane Square", one of London's leading delicatessens. The group consists of five stores and employs about 150 people and Ian does all the hiring, firing and turning down requests for pay increases. He has been a director of the business since 2000 and his varied role has included food and wine buying, dealing with food safety, working with suppliers, and being a judge for the Great Taste Awards and the World Cheese Awards and a Dragon's Den panelist for speciality food shows. He has been responsible for opening and refurbishing a number of stores, including the company's flagship store in Chelsea's Kings Road, and he also helped launch the successful Partridges weekly food market.
His interest in politics has extended to involvement in environmental causes and the the whole subject of food policy and international trade and he studied a masters course in Food Policy led by Professor Tim Lang at City University.
He and his family have lived in Saffron Walden for twelve years and he has become involved in campaigning for cycling in the area, trying to improve facilities for cyclists in the town and on the route to Audley End station, representing cycling interests on Uttlesford Transport Forums and acting as the group co-ordinator for Sustrans in this district. He is also a supporter of the transition towns movement.
He firmly believes that communities need to have diversity of sustainable food networks and provide opportunities for people to access good quality food produced locally. He is opposed to the tendency towards large scale food production and distribution systems which create imbalances in global food security and which rely on the use of non-renewable resources, particularly oil, for continued market dominance.
He believes the emergence of small-scale, community-led ventures such as Walden Local Food is a positive sign of fight back against this destructive assault on the environment and the quality of our lives. Ian is dead chuffed to have a chance to actively help this cause in Walden and now, by donning his Walden Local Market apron work on the stall selling our top notch produce, it has occurred to him that he has come full circle in his career in food retailing, back to his vegetable roots as a not-quite-so-young Saturday boy.