First Pop-Up Food Market Exceeds All Expectations 30 January 2018

Visitors and Shetland residents were attracted to Mareel in their hundreds to taste Shetland's best local food and drink.

Our first Pop-up Market was held in celebration of Up Helly Aa and the UHA crowds certainly turned out in force to support us. There was a huge amount of interest in local produce - and an overwhelming number of people attending.

Jill Franklin, Manager of Shetland Food and Drink, says: "This was a pilot event - our first - so we didn't really know what to expect. Not only had we not done a Pop-Up Market before, there'd been no food and drink event held at Up Helly Aa time. When the doors opened there were floods of people - more than we ever anticipated. We had such wonderful feedback from those attending, and from stallholders too. We're already in planning for the next event, this one was such a massive success."

The upstairs gallery at Mareel was packed with visitors sampling the treats on offer. Shetland Reel were launching their new Up Helly Aa gin, which flew off the shelves. Anderson Butchers continued their success with Reestit Mutton by generating lots of interest in this traditional Shetland dish. Viking Mead had an incredible run on their mead, which remains in great demand. Mirrie Dancers' beautiful Up Helly Aa chocolates were a real taste sensation and looked stunning. Aauld Harbour tea room were Up Helly Aa themed with special fancies and cakes. And LJs delicious handmade pizzas proved exceptionally popular.

Downstairs in the foyer was packed too. Skibhoul Bakery and Shetland Farm Dairies joined together on a stall to sell butter and Oceanic oatcakes together, which worked a treat. Mackenzies had a fantastic range of produce from their croft - hen's eggs, duck eggs, and fresh vegetables as well as their delicious handmade jams and marmalades. Shetland Fudge's sweet treats were as popular as ever. Thule Ventus's salt cod proved particularly popular with visitors from Europe - tastings of the creamy pate were a real hit. And the V Bird had queues of people wanting to taste their delicious vegan dips, relishes, pasties and their new fruit-flavoured vinegars.

We would like to say a very big thank you for everyone who came, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed taking part. Do keep an eye on our events page for information about our next event - or sign up to our bulletin by filling in the box at the bottom of our contact us page.

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