The Comber Farmers’ Market has long been a staple event in the calendars of locals and tourists alike.
On the first Thursday of every month, visitors can sample all the local goodness that Comber has to offer. From the tasty food stalls to the friendly community spirit – there’s so many reasons to go to the Comber Farmers’ Market.
With this in mind, below we have listed everything we love about the market, and why you should give it a visit next time you’re in the area.
What is the Comber Farmers’ Market?
The Comber Farmers’ Market is an award-winning monthly event. It opened in July 2014 by Comber Regeneration Community Partnership, whose members believed that a food market would help to regenerate Comber in a number of ways.
The main aim was to give local food producers an opportunity to sell their products, as well as attract more visitors to the town. Since it started, this vision has continued to exceed expectations. Now, the market boasts 26 artisan food stalls, each bringing a unique taste and buzz to the community. The market has built up a strong reputation for selling fresh, seasonal food and plant products. Its success has seen it attract hundreds of people from Comber and surrounding areas, such as Belfast, Newtownards, Bangor, Holywood, Lisburn and Downpatrick.
The market is volunteer-led. The team meets once a month to plan, organise and promote the market across a wide range of mediums, from social media to council and corporate partnerships.
Why Go to the Market?
There’s plenty of reasons to visit the Comber Farmers’ Market, but we’ve rounded up our top four:
Support Local Businesses
In the aftermath of the pandemic, we all know that small businesses are in desperate need of help. Now that the market is back in full swing, what better way to show some support by buying your groceries from local traders?
There are many benefits that come with supporting small businesses. You can help to energise the economy, build strong local relationships, be part of the community spirit, and enjoy a unique experience that you wouldn’t get in other big-name high street shops.
Comber’s range of local businesses are what makes the town’s streets different from the rest. They help build a character that’s original and vibrant. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, we guarantee you’ll love Comber thanks to its small business community and charm.
Source Fresh Produce
Comber is packed full of businesses that are dedicated to serving the local community with only the best quality produce.
From patisseries to farm shops, fresh milk to homemade bread – you can find everything to fill your cupboards at the Comber Farmers’ Market. What’s more, is that you can trust that local produce tastes better, produces less waste, is organic and also more nutritious. This means you’re only getting the best when you choose to buy from the market.
You can check out a full list of Comber Farmers’ Market traders here.
Protect the Environment
Food from your local supermarket, whether it is organic or conventional, travels on average 1500 miles from the farm to your plate. There are several reasons this is a cause for concern: the further your food travels to you, the less nutritious and delicious it is by the time it gets to your plate.
Also, all the shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels). This contributes to pollution, as well as extra packaging creating constant trash. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products.
Whereas, food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimise the impact on the Earth. So not only are you getting better grub – you’re also saving the planet!
Learn Something New
When you visit Comber, you will be sure to learn a thing or two about the town’s fascinating history and culture. Comber is renowned for its coffee, cycling, craft and fine cuisine – all of which you can experience at the market.
If you’re staying in Comber, you can ask the locals for their recommendations. It is likely they’ll encourage you to take a dander down the beautiful Comber Greenway, where you can enjoy scenic views of Stormont Estate and Scrabo Tower along the way. There’s also St Mary’s Church, which dates back the 1840s and is filled with interesting memorials inside. You’ll even recognise some of the local areas depicted in the beautiful stained glass windows.
Comber’s market is also full of history, which has shaped it to have the quaint culture that so many people know and love. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Comber grew as a market town, supported by many family-run businesses. Fast-forward to the 21st century and this charming characteristic still lives on! When visiting the market, you will feel like you’re part of history.
Also, when at the market, you can learn from all the farmers, ranchers and artisans who will happily give plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they’re selling. So you can be sure to leave the market having learned something new and useful.
The biggest reason for visiting the market is to enjoy the surroundings and the atmosphere. Trust us – you won’t regret visiting this charming little place.
If you want to make the most of your visit to Comber, or spend a few slow days exploring what’s around – The Annex is located just outside Comber in the rural townland of Ballyaltikilligan. It offers stunning scenic views looking out over Scrabo Tower, Strangford Lough and the local countryside – so you can enjoy Comber at its fullest.
To enquire, simply contact our team today.