The reaction to a local produce store opening in the Carfax has been ‘out of this world’ - according to the duo behind the new Horsham shop.
Crates Local opened last Monday but had its official opening on Friday August 23, where producers who stock the new shop as well as special guests were invited to a celebration event.
The shop is the brainchild of PJ Aldred and Marion Carter, who together run Horsham Markets in the Carfax and the Bishopric on a Thursday and a Saturday, and aims to showcase the best food and drink within a 40-mile radius of Horsham.
PJ said the reaction from customers had been ‘phenomenal’ in their first week in the premises, where producers can rent out space to display their wares.
She added: “We have been blown away by the reaction. The response from customers is just out of this world. It’s as though Horsham has been waiting for Crates Local to open.
“Customers have said: ‘We have been waiting for this for years’ and: ‘What a great idea’.”
Roger Lintott, of the old Horsham-based family grocer Lintott and Sons, which started in South Street and then had premises in the Carfax and North Street, declared the shop officially open for business to the applause of around 40 onlookers.
Jeremy Knight, curator at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery in the Causeway, was on hand to share some history of the building.
He said the former jailer’s house was ‘one of the most forgotten and interesting buildings in Horsham’, and had survived when the old Odeon cinema was built.
Sarah Cuthbertson, who runs a market stall called Just Brownies in the Carfax on Saturdays, said: “PJ and Marion are fantastic in running the market so I knew that something like this would work.”
David Bell, of Bangers Galore, thought it was good to have more options and more outlets in Horsham to stock his sausages.
James Colaccico, who runs DJ’s Spot with Denisa Lehocka, supplying Slovak and Czech food, said that apart from being in the market on Thursdays and Saturdays they did not stock any other shop, and the option to sell their produce in Horsham six days a week was ‘perfect’.
PJ added: “It’s convenience. There are a lot of people that work here but do not shop here on a Saturday. We can also bring in producers who do not have time to go to market.
“This is for people who are demanding local produce and there are so many of them.”