Bowhouse food hub’s Bowhouse Link service has generated sales of local produce of more than £139k since it launched in April 2020 in a move that has ploughed money back into the local economy.
Over 1,200 orders have been delivered and over 1,600 boxes collected using the specially created online shopping platform, which has listed over 1,000 products from local food and drink producers. The site also provided a vehicle for shoppers to give to the local food bank with over £3,000 donated over this period by Bowhouse Link users.
Bowhouse was launched in 2017 with a mission to reconnect local produce with local consumers, for sustainable, seasonal eating year round. Forced to cancel their monthly Market Weekends in lockdown, Bowhouse Link was launched to provide access to local produce for local people.
Bowhouse Link provides a platform for a growing number of local food and drink producers with a virtual marketplace open Monday to Wednesday. Customers select produce from small butchers, bakers, growers, brewers and other makers, for delivery or collection from the local hub each weekend.
As restrictions have now eased, Bowhouse Market Weekends will take place on the second week of July, August, September, October, November and December.
Since opening in 2017, Bowhouse has developed a UK-wide reputation as a place for making. The collection of local food and drink producers and traders based at Bowhouse includes a miller transforming grains grown in the fields nearby into wholemeal flours; a butcher working closely with farmers on the estate; vegetable farmers; and an organic brewery and spirits producer.
Those based at Bowhouse include:
- Organic beef, lamb, venison and pork from Butchery at Bowhouse
- Wholemeal organic flours from Scotland the Bread
- Pesticide free vegetables and salads from East Neuk Market Garden
- Spirits, ciders, beers and natural wines from Futtle Organic Brewery
- Fresh flowers from Keeping the Plot
- A range of household and pantry suppliers from zero-waste store Grain & Sustain
Rosie Jack, Market Manager, said:
“I’m delighted by the success of these figures and we have been able to welcome another Bowhouse team member, Katrina Gilmour, joining as Bowhouse Link and Market Assistant to support. They’re a real demonstration that local shopping has the power to feed directly into the local economy.
“Bowhouse Link was launched at time when people had real difficulty in accessing fresh produce in the supermarkets. We were able to demonstrate the resilience of short, local supply chains with this online market and it was a way of supporting not just our customers, but also the wonderful food and drink makers we work with. This was a direct route to market for them at a time when our own markets had been forced to close.
“We hope people will continue to visit Bowhouse and support both our makers based here and visiting traders at the Market Weekends and also explore Bowhouse Link as a sustainable shopping outlet.”
Sophie Cumber, Butchery at Bowhouse:
“Launching a new shop on the first week of lockdown was not how I envisioned my move to Fife. Overnight my hospitality clients had to close and I was left wondering how I would be able to market my stock. The Bowhouse Link has enabled me to now have returning customers visiting instore, at the market weekends and ordering through Bowhouse Link.”
Find Bowhouse Link on Open Food Network at https://openfoodnetwork.org.uk/bowhouse-link/shop.
In addition, Bowhouse is now able to run its monthly Market Weekends, which will take place on:
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th July, 10am – 4pm
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th August, 10am – 4pm
Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th September, 10am – 4pm
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th October, 10am – 4pm
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th November, 10am – 4pm
Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th December, 10am – 4pm
The development of Bowhouse Link has been supported by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, recognising the value of small businesses and farm to fork supply in Fife.
Find out more about Bowhouse at bowhousefife.com or on:
Twitter – twitter.com/BowhouseFife
Facebook – facebook.com/BowhouseFife
Instagram – instagram.com/bowhousefife