It was lovely to catch up with Grimsby Creates Development Fund recipient Vikki Taylor (Deadly Bakes), for a chat. Vikki received Development Fund support in order to undertake learning visits to the craft and flea market in Hull. Since then, she has set up a space for local craft and makers businesses to get together once a month ‘Makes Meets Eats’, which is currently held at The Beachcomber in Cleethorpes.
Vikki described the success of Makes Meets Eats. At the last event in October, no fewer than 34 traders were involved, with a footfall of approximately 2,000 people over 7 hours. Vikki states that the Hull visits provided her with vision about what other markets do, the layout of the stalls, types of traders, atmosphere (such as background music) and fluctuations in footfall during the course of the day. She also recognised the importance of banners and distribution of flyers outside of the space to capture passers-by who might not have been planning a visit to the market.
Vikki was supported through the process by mentor Hayley McPhun (Eleos Collective), who she describes as knowing so much. Hayley enabled this to be a cathartic experience as Hayley could relate to the worries and concerns that Vikki has, reassure her that this is normal and offered strategies to work through these. For instance, Vikki recounted the sheer need to deal with a large number of traders, almost like a manager co-ordinating 40 self-employed people, who don’t always want to be managed. A sense of diplomacy has been vital in determining the fine line between friendship and management and Vikki has received lots of positive feedback from traders. Vikki looked back that it has provided an opportunity to learn about her own management style and not to be a ‘push-over’. On the flip side it is clear that Vikki’s style is one of a listener, who is understanding and empathetic.
So where is Vikki looking to take things now? Firstly, she has the desire to stretch the time gap between Makes Meets Eats events to enable more options, particularly with the view to helping traders get into other markets to build business beyond North East Lincolnshire, taking Makes Meets Eats on tour. Secondly, Vikki is considering the scope to centre each Makes Meets Eats event with a theme, to attract similar minded customers under one roof. There are already plans afoot for a retro-theme for Makes Meets Eats in March 2023, with some ‘weird and wonderful’ themes in the pipeline.
Vikki also chatted passionately about her own artisan business ‘Deadly Bakes’. Her products sound absolutely delicious and she regularly sells at events within a 1 ½ hour radius from North East Lincolnshire. Particular standouts include a ‘Fuffle’ chocolate truffle with fudge (chocolates are popular as they have a longer shelf life than cakes usually) and quirky twists on classic like a giant Wagon Wheel and a Ferrero Rocher-type treat in a brownie with a hazelnut shell – yum!