The Mount / King Street W3 9NW | 020 8993 9605 | www.actonmarket.com
Thursdays and Fridays 10am–5pm | Saturdays 9am–5pm
It’s a Saturday morning in Acton and well-known stallholder Richard Webster is busy serving up fresh fruit and vegetables at the heart of its small but thriving market. He banters with his customers, surrounded by British-grown rhubarb, beetroot and carrots, piled high alongside Fairtrade bananas, all from London wholesale market Western International.
The market, run by charity and development trust Action Acton, won the Development Trust Association’s Chris Woodcock Award for excellence in community enterprise last year, and received a £5,000 boost. Its traders, who work all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday, host a mix of food stalls, a weekend farmers’ market, plus arts and crafts, fashion and jewellery.
John Blackmore, who heads Action Acton, has watched the market change the face of Acton centre over the past five years, as the town’s tradition of markets has been brought back to life. “The main focus is on giving local people a choice of different types of foods and a chance for the community to interact – bringing together people who might not mix normally because they are from different social and economic backgrounds,” he says.
Newcomer Tom Bonasera bakes brutti ma buoni (ugly but tasty) Italian-style biscuits and painstakingly labels his display with the provenance of each ingredient. Another favourite is an offshoot of Borough-based Flour Power City bakery, which uses organic flour to create everything from brownies to bloomers. A few stalls down, Kent-based Old Hall Farm is a member of the Slow Food movement, and specialises in free range meats including rare breed lamb, rabbit and pigeon. A new Fairtrade stall selling everything from food to t-shirts, and run by Action Acton volunteers,was set to launch at the end of September. At the same time, expect a series of promotional days for select seasonal produce.
A must-visit is Mr Singh’s Express Curry, the brainchild of keen gardener Jasbir Singh, who cooks his famous aloo tikka and samosas with vegetables from his own allotment in nearby Boston Manor. The stall is one of the most well-established in the market, having sold freshly made Indian food on the site for two years. “I do my best to use the vegetables I grow, such as my spinach, which I cook with from the end of July, as well as onions,” he explains. “I have huge courgettes and plenty of potatoes, which I use here as much as I can.”
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