Behind the scenes at a Christmas Fair

We’re proud to be an Ely business. Ely’s a small city with a tight-knit community. It boasts a bustling market and streets of small shops – all overlooked by the magnificent cathedral.

The Cathedral is the heart of the city. Every November it hosts its annual Food and Gift Fair –  a much-loved event which has become something of a tradition for both locals and visitors. We’ve been there since the fair’s very first year and it’s the highlight of our busy festive calendar – it’s like coming home for Christmas.

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We’re used to early starts, and this is no exception. But any tiredness soon melts away when we step into the cathedral. Twinkly lights criss-cross the nave and all is peaceful and calm. We like to savour these few moments before the doors open – soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the beautiful stalls. We’ve been doing markets for years but we still get that buzz of excitement and anticipation at the start of each day.

Our spot is in the Food and Drink marquee. This is a small world, and many of us stallholders know each other well. Before the fair opens, we like to pop over to say hello to our old friends, and introduce ourselves to new ones. There’s always something exciting to discover each year.

Over the weekend, we sold 2,500 brownies. That’s a lot of brownies. We love seeing our customers’ faces light up as they spot their favourite flavour, or pick something new. Every sale means so much to us – from that first customer of the weekend, to the person who buys our very last brownie.

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This year Ely fell in love with our special Ferrero Rocher brownie. It’s a real showstopper – with sumptuous caramel, hazelnuts and a whole gold-dusted Ferrero Rocher. Most people can’t resist taking a bite as soon we hand over their brownies – and some even make a return visit to the stall before they head home!

Christmas is a busy time for us, so we always make sure we find the time to take a break from our stall and have a wander round the fair. It’s the perfect place to start our shopping. And after a long weekend on our feet, a hot bath and a large G&T is always first thing on our list when we get home!

The Ely Cathedral Food and Gift Fair is a truly special way to start the festive season. Over the coming weeks, when we’re working flat-out at the bakery and events, we’ll remember all those happy faces we saw over the weekend. It reminds us what it’s all about. Christmas is magical, and if our brownies help spread that joy then our mission is complete.