BY THOMAS CAMPBELL
A pet friendly farmers’ market has helped a community trust raise more than £1million.
Candy Clark’s Pads & Paws pet deli is just one of the 25 stalls that brings people and their four legged friends to Chiswick Food Market in West London every Sunday between noon and 2pm.
Mrs Clark, from Hastings, started making dog treats five years ago after she fell in love with her golden labrador Kiera.
The pet chef uses recycled slaughterhouse food scraps from Tottingham Farm in East Sussex to make “pooch party bags” and treats, including ox liver, bacon teasers and bovine phalluses.
Mrs Clark said: “I am a chef and all my life I have cooked for people. Now I use my culinary skills for dogs.
“This is the only market in London that I do because I like the people here and I love this market”, she added.
Cathleen Healey founded The Chiswick Food Market on the first Sunday in September 1999 at the Grove Park Farm House along the north bank of the Thames.
Mrs Healey’s neighbourhood group wanted to raise money and “bring people back to the area”, which was looking worse for wear.
Mrs Healey said: “It was in a derelict state, there was even a burnt out car and the building was covered in graffiti.”
The market provided the income for Mrs Healey and her friends to expand their operation and establish the Duke Meadows Trust.
“All the proceeds go back into the community. It really is a social enterprise” said Mrs Healey, who volunteers her time three days a week.
The award-winning charity has since 2000 raised more than £1million to build two new playgrounds and hosts a wide range of activities on market days such as wicker weaving, pottery and easter egg hunts.
The trust has also converted the old farmhouse stores into 16 art studios, which are rented for £200-£400 a month to a mix of painters, illustrators and potters.
Charlotte Stokes, 19, a market assistant who is preparing to read psychology at the University of Manchester, grew up with the market on her doorstep.
Ms Stokes said: “It was a lovely place to come at the weekend. I enjoyed all the activities while my parents walked around the market. I am going to miss it.”
The market sits outside the Masonian Bowls Club, which has been around since 1925. Mrs Healey said: “All the stand holders get breakfast in the mornings. The bowling club do it for free.”
The trust is always looking for volunteers to help keep the meadows green and the market going.
For more information visit the Duke Meadows website: http://dukesmeadowstrust.org/ and follow them @dukes meadowspk.
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