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Trader of the Month: Anna Gill

We talk to cupcake queen Anna about her experiences as a stall holder on the Real Food Market

Published on September 28th 2010.

Trader of the Month: Anna Gill

Bakery stall And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon has been tempting sweet-toothed shoppers at the Real Food Market for nearly three years now. And they'll be hoping to convert more customers to their irresistible cupcakes, brownies and slices when they set up shop at the the first ever Manchester Feast Market at the end of September in St Ann's Square.

This new annual market brings together Manchester's many food heroes into one place. Head down there for the finest selection of home-reared, home-baked, home-grown produce the city has ever seen. The Manchester Feast Market will be held from 29 September to 10 October from 10am to 6pm.

Anna Gill from And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon puts aside her mixing bowl and wooden spoon to tell us about her experiences as a stall holder so far.

How long have you been a trader and do you enjoy it?
For two and a half years, and yes, I enjoy it. The highs are meeting lots of our lovely customers and some ‘colourful’ characters who frequent Piccadilly Gardens. The only lows can be the Manchester weather.

Why did you become a trader?
To test our business idea in a low-cost way before committing to opening a shop, and to sell our products alongside other fantastic local producers.

What do you sell?
All manner of cakes and bakes from cupcakes to brownies to gingerbread

What is your most popular product?
In joint first place is our gooey double chocolate brownie and our ‘choc-meister’ cupcake. The names say it all really.

What are the challenges of market trading?
Aforementioned Manchester weather.

What’s the funniest thing that has happened whilst working on the market?
A seriously inebriated customer (I use this term loosely as he didn’t pay for his goods) who managed to fit two whole gooey double chocolate orange brownies in hismouth in one go. I was so impressed/shocked that I forgot to be annoyed about the fact that he didn’t hand over any money.

What's the best thing about being a market trader?
Meeting customers and other businesses who share a passion for quality food and drink and local, seasonal produce.

What are your plans for the future?
We are finally putting down our roots and opening our cake shop and tearoom on Burton Road in West Didsbury this month. We will be selling lots of sweet stuff including a weekend pudding menu. There will be a range of vintage baking paraphernalia and gifts too.

Thank you to all the customers who have supported us since our very first market (we’ll still continue to do them) and hopefully we’ll see you in our shop for tea and cake. And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon shop opens on 15th October.

Find out more about And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon at: www.dishandspoonfood.co.uk

The Manchester Real Food Market is held on the second and fourth weekend (Friday and Saturday) of each month, from 10am until 6pm, at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester city centre.

The first Manchester Feast Market market will be held from 29 September to 10 October between 10am and 6pm at St Ann's Square, Manchester city centre.

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