Artisans wanted to participate in new ‘Make it to Market’ programme

Kim from Kims Kakery Ballymoney
Kim from Kims Kakery Ballymoney

Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market brings together the best tastes of the region.

For customers, it provides a unique experience by putting them into contact with sellers who want to share their stories as well as their handcrafted goods.

Shauna McFall Manager of Naturaly North Coast and Glens. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Shauna McFall Manager of Naturaly North Coast and Glens. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

There are benefits for traders as well, including a sense of community and being part of a growing artisan collaboration.

With this in mind, have you ever thought about bringing your product to market?

Would free trading pitches, workshops and support help?

‘Make it to Market’, a new programme offered by Naturally North Coast & Glens, offers all of this and is now open to makers based in Northern Ireland with a market-ready artisan product.

Shauna McFall, from Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market, explains the benefits.

“Make it to Market will help makers develop the skills they need to start and develop their business. We will help them bring their product to market and provide them with six free market trading pitches with mentoring and support throughout.

“Participants will have access to a range of free workshops designed to help them develop their business, confidence and skills, and ultimately help them increase sales and profitability in the long term,” she said.

“Markets are a really useful tool for building brand awareness, marketing, launching new products and increasing customer bases. Many of our high street giants and big brands started their life at a market stall so who knows where this could lead!

“Make it to Market is aimed at anyone aged over 16 years old who are ready to commit to participating in the programme and making the most of this exciting opportunity. We are particularly keen to attract artisan food producers from throughout NI and we also welcome applications from artists and crafters who are new to trading or have just recently started their business.

“We are hugely looking forward to working with new artisans and seeing how this programme makes a difference to them.”

For anyone considering taking part, market selling is a low-risk, low-cost way to turn your business dream into reality.

Speaking about his experience, Dara O’Hartgaile from Ursa Minor Bakehouse explained: “Naturally North Coast & Glens Artisan Market provided the perfect platform for Ursa Minor Bakehouse to take its first steps towards the success it has become. Our business started there and grew and developed from there.

“We decided to test the market for our products by taking a stall and from there we were able to expand our range and try out new products. This way we were able to receive immediate feedback from customers about the positives and negatives. The Market allowed us to increase sales and have good cash flow to develop and move forward.”

Now located on Ann Street in Ballycastle town centre, Ursa Minor is a thriving cafe and bakery, recommended in the prestigious McKenna’s Guide and part of the Economusee network.

Places on the ‘Make it to Market’ programme are limited and will be offered to those that best fit the market’s trading criteria.

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 22.

For more information about the criteria or to receive an application form email

The ‘Make it to Market’ programme is managed by Naturally North Coast & Glens. It has been funded by the Ulster Bank Skills and Opportunities Fund and is supported by Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.