A unique food and craft village, which opens in Cornwall next month, looks set to provide the county’s producers with an important new retail outlet.
The Kingsley Village will focus on selling Cornish products in a food and drink hall, crafts area and restaurant/coffee shop.
“The idea is to combine the convenience of the supermarket with the freshness of the farmers’ market,” said John Marshall, the Kingsley Group’s project manager.
The firm is just completing the 3.75m project’s new building, which has received 1.3m of Objective 1 funding. It offers a total of 40,000sq ft of space in a prime location adjacent to the A30 dual carriageway at Fraddon.
This location is within 25mins drive for nearly 300,000 potential local shoppers, and that’s without passing trade and tourists.
“The 9000sq ft food hall is designed to create a ‘wow!’ factor, aiming for a standard as high as Harvey Nichols or Harrods.
We will offer a similar shopping experience, except here we will be concentrating on mainly local produce,” said Mr Marshall.
Customers entering the food hall will find fruit and vegetables, a fully functioning butcher’s shop, deli-counter, bakery, dairy and fishmongers.
Alongside will be Cornish ales, wines, champagnes and soft drinks.
The central area will be for local pre-packed foods, jams and preserves.
All of the individual concessions will be run by specialists operating independently within the food hall.
This should provide a huge opportunity for some smaller producers who are currently having difficulty tapping into larger volume markets.
Although the butcher, greengrocer and other shops within the hall will operate as individuals, the customers will not notice any difference from shopping in a normal supermaket.
After, hopefully, filling their baskets shoppers will go through the tills in the normal way.
But the Kingsley Village is not just about supplying fresh local food. It also aims to offer a wide range of other products and be a “one-stop-shop” for local, Cornish and regional products.
Another area, even larger than the food hall, will be set aside for selling crafts, clothing and other locally made products.
The goods will extend from Cornish ice-cream and chocolate to tailor-made wetsuits.