As a self-confessed snapaholic David has always been smitten with the market. 'All those colourful cakes and tubs of olives send my clicking finger into a frenzy,' he says. 'I never tire of documenting market life through my camera. But it's not just the food that's the main attraction. 'For me markets are all about bringing people together, creating a vibrant environment in which neighbours can rub shoulders and get to know one another. For many communities around the world life would be unimaginable without a market. Here in Surbiton we have created one of the finest. I’m so proud of what we have achieved.’
On market days Natalie is a human dynamo, making sure the market runs smoothly, looking after stallholders and answering all manner of questions from customers. ‘It’s not all glamour though,’ she says. ‘Between markets there's quite a lot of administration to do. Together with Deborah, our Compliance Officer, I have to ensure everything’s OK in terms of insurance, hygiene and health and safety. I'm passionate about food so the best part of my role is scouting out new stalls… and doing a lot of eating and drinking trying out potential new products.’
Another Maple Road resident and an enthusiast about all things foodie, Robyn, along with Aviva, coordinates the market’s charity stalls. ‘I love getting to know all the fantastic good causes in the local area and supporting them to raise awareness and funds at the market. A volunteer role that combines yummy food and great company while raising money for inspiring local charities – what more could you ask for?’
David runs one of the businesses in Maple Road – as well as chairing Surbiton Business Community – so he is well placed to excite, engage and if necessary, adjudicate with local businesses in support of the Farmers’ Market! On market days David takes his turn amusing puzzled drivers with his slapstick barrier humour which is always well received.
Having moved to Surbiton from New York City, Aviva has been all about the market from day one. ‘It was my life-long dream to be a part of a local farmers' market,’ says Aviva, ‘so relocating to a new country where I knew few people was the perfect excuse to jump in. Market life is something truly made of magic. Every third Saturday the stars align and you have this happy little slice of bliss with heavenly food and good friends. I love the way that charity is at its heart. I feel so lucky to be a part of it.’
Adam runs Lallapolosa Baking Company with wife and baker-supreme, Elyse. The ever- popular bakers of brownies, cookies and cakes is one of the market’s home-grown success stories, having started life on Maple Road itself. A keen football player, Adam likes to spend his spare time with Elyse and their little Lallapolosian, Theo. ‘I love the market,’ says Adam. ‘But trying to resist the chocolaty temptations that surround me is always a challenge’.
Dressed in his trademark black jumper, black trousers and black jacket, Ian Roscow is something of an enigma. Tall, dark and dashing he emerges from the shadows at every market, helping with set up and enthralling us all with his tales of derring-do. And then, as the market winds down for the day, he's gone, quietly dissolving into the ether. Who is this mystery man, this Man in Black? Perhaps we will never know.
A Surbiton resident for more than 30 years, Paul has been a regular visitor to the Farmers’ Market almost since the beginning. Deciding that it was time he got involved he can now be found looking after our social media and helping out with anything — and everything — else that comes along.
“The market is one of the great things about living in Surbiton,’ enthuses Paul. ‘It has a fantastic range of quality foods, a great atmosphere and supports local charities and good causes. What more could you ask for?’
Having moved to Surbiton and now residing on Maple Road from the rural outback of the North East, Ursa has always seen supporting local businesses and neighbours as a priority. ‘The market is a special and unique community, bringing together fresh, lovingly handmade produce,’ she says. Ursa works alongside Natalie to make sure the market runs smoothly on the day for all to enjoy.
Adrienne is a resident of Maple Road and moved here three years ago from Ramsbottom in Lancashire where she won a 'Best in breed' for her cheese and onion pie. She likes nothing better than knitting hedgehogs, making Christmas decorations from wine and champagne corks, and baking. She is a member of the local WI and other groups too numerous to mention. She likes to chat so the Farmers’ Market provides her with the perfect opportunity to do just that!
Ralph has lived in London since 1999, most of that time spent in Surbiton. ‘Working at the market really puts us at the heart of the community, helps local businesses, and contributes to deserving local charities,’ he says. ‘Everyone here is a volunteer – and gives more or less time as necessary – doing everything from setting up the market to marketing and finance, all for the good of the market, and Surbiton. ‘It feels good!’ says Ralph.
Chris runs Let’s Learn Energy, teaching Surrey school children about green energy and sustainability. He’s also Vice President of Kingston Riverside Rotary and a volunteer with a special educational needs charity, Inspire-Sport. On market days Chris is to be found dragging gazebos, tables and barriers across Maple Road. He gets his rewards in caffeine and chat!
A very local, local – she lives on Maple Road — Alison has helped with the market since it started and is responsible for publicising its activities and achievements in the media. Born in Yorkshire (where her grandfather was a farmer!) Alison has been editor of a weekly magazine, a PR and communications consultant and freelance writer. When not working she enjoys travelling and spending time in Brittany with her family. What's the best thing about the market? ‘It's meeting up with friends,’ she says.
A modest man, Andy says he feels a bit guilty about appearing on this page. ‘Everyone has put in a lot more effort than me into making the market what it is and raising so much money for charity,’ he says. ‘All I do is look after the website which is what I do for a living anyway. But here I am and hopefully I'll be doing more where I can.’
Andy’s cohort, Nathalie balances being an excellent mum with running Abricot Production, the website design company in Surbiton which designed this very site. When she is not tidying up after her son Donnie (now 2 years old), she is producing websites and mastering her English… still not quite there yet after 15 years. She is also a member of Surbiton's own Petite France based on Maple Road.
Poppy (right) and Jade have been friends since they met 13 years ago at Tiffin Girls School. Having developed an interest in filmmaking at university they got together in the summer of 2013 and started Always the Kraken, or ATK, a company making videos for the likes of TEDxAlbertopolis and London Glider Cider brewery. Poppy grew up just off Maple Road and Jade spent a lot of time there with her, so they've both enjoyed visiting the market over the years. ‘Making our little video to promote the market has been a wonderful experience,’ says Poppy. ‘We are so thrilled to be a part of the team.'