Pity the Lady in the Market Stall

My daughter is a chef – after 16 years of working in kitchens and selling cheese in Toronto, Kingston, Boston, New Orleans, London – and learning to take a pig from pig to sausage in the middle of all that – she decided that London needed British style air cured sausages. High end, gloriously artisinal sausages that would uniquely reflect the heritage and personality of Great Britian!

Here is her description of herself from her website at http://www.Curedmeats.london

Our Managing Director, Pork Whisperer and Fearless Heroine is Adrienne Eiser Treeby. Guided by her commitment to good food and good ethics Adrienne has been in turns a Chef, an Apprentice and a Cheesemonger. After putting in fourteen years working behind the stoves at some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants (in three different countries, no less!), two years learning how to make cured meats at the knee of a Master Salumiere and a further two years getting to know the artisanal London food scene with Neal’s Yard Dairy, we’re pretty glad to have her at the helm.

And at the helm she most certainly is! The helm, the butcher tables, the accounting desk, AP, AR, and saleswoman. Plus she’s running market stalls at various markets around London – getting her fabulous sausages known in the world.

Or as I told one customer – making sure they all go to good homes.

So – what am I doing in a market stall? Ah – that’s an interesting story.

The Market culture in London is quite remarkable. There are markets – groups of vendors under canvas tents with portable tables and displays – all over London. They pop-up in the morning, run until around 3:00 PM on average – and then disapear without a trace by 4:00 PM. Depending on the market – they can be daily, weekly, monthly – or apparently totally at random. The unifying idea is that the vendors pay the organizers to be at the market, and folks local to that location come to buy their groceries at these markets. This is in addition to shopping at the local grocery store of course.

One immediately wonders if the abundance of grocery stores is going to impact this scene any time soon – or is the clearly thriving market scene taking business away from the grocery stores? The interesting thing – the grocery stores and even some ‘fast-food restaurants’ are moving more and more toward pre-packged, clarly labeled food items, while the market scene is completely different. There is little in the way of packaging – and labels are few and far between. At the markets – ones sells on taste.

Which brings me to my job – “Want to taste my daugher’s Sausage?” or the less rude alternative – “Want to taste the suasuage my daughter makes in South London?”
So – for the past 14 days – straight – I’ve been standing in front of a glorious display of my daughter’s suasuages – and some of the wonderful similarly artistian meats her friends have ‘cooked’ up – asking folks to take a taste. The good news – once they taste – they generally buy. The bad news – at some markets – the Fenchurch station is a great example – the regjection rate “Nope – don’t want to taste” is horridly high.

It makes for a long hard day.

I guess it’s better for them not to taste if they would never want to buy under any circumstances – but after a few hundred rejections – I’m hard put to stay smily!

But – I shoulder on.

It’s a job – someone has to do it.

“Want to taste my dauther’s sausages?”

Signing off for now – the Soup Lady.

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