Diffuser and Candles from Ashby Aromatherapy & Gifts

Nottingham’s Christmas Market has had a swarm of people visiting different attractions, food vendors and stalls.

Not only has the Christmas Market had a considerable number of Nottingham-based people attending, but many also from Derbyshire and even Lincolnshire.

Many of the family-owned businesses have been busy with customers due to the success of the market, which allows them to grow and continue doing their work.

Local businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and many struggled to keep going or find new ways of reaching out to customers.

Here at the Nottingham Christmas Market, there is a range of local businesses stalls, from jewellery to jams to crystals.

The Cherry Tree has been in business since 1997 and for 24 years they have prioritised producing the finest Preserves, Marmalades, Chutneys and flavours to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

All of their products are hand cooked in small batches, using a traditional family recipe and only the best quality ingredients.

I spoke to Simon Blundell about the inspiration behind and how the Cherry Tree became a local business, and he said: “It was started due to the fact that there was love for good food and good products.

“We started very small with a few little jams here and there, and it’s just built over the years.”

The Cherry Tree has won over 190 different awards for the business.

“There was a massive amount of pride that comes through with something like that cause all the hard work and effort is recognised by things like that.”

Jams, Chutneys, Marmalades and Preserves from The Cherry Tree

When asked about why people should buy from local businesses rather than big ones, Mr Blundell said: “You get quality of product whereas when you’re dealing with big commercial businesses, everything’s made to a price point.

“When dealing with places like supermarkets, we don’t do it because they want to pay 25p a jar.

“To make a product at that level, you have to compromise on all of your quality, and that ruins your brand at that point.”

Alex McBurnie and his partner Ash Meredith both run the local business Ashbyaromatherapy together, since they started their business following a car accident.

Mr McBurnie said: “He got into doing massaged as a working job.

“Through doing the massage and aromatherapy massage, he learned about different oils and began blending other aromatic products from there.”

Over the last eight years, Mr Mcburnie and Mr Meredith’s business has expanded and evolved from meeting new customers and creating and designing more complex items.

Mr Meredith said: “We have also attended events like Winter Wonderland, Brand designs, Ideal homes and many more to attract more customers with testers, samples and feedback.”

Both Mr McBurnie and Mr Meredith are big believers in shopping from local businesses rather than bigger ones.

Mr Meredith said: “Mentally, it’s good for you to get out and socialise with people.

“Sitting at a computer all day browsing and shopping from bigger corporations doesn’t make shopping as fun compared to getting out there, meeting all kinds of people and sample products.”

Local businesses here at the Nottingham Christmas Market seem to have had a better year selling their family-owned products than last year when the market closed after 24 hours of being open due to overcrowding.

Next time you are out shopping, check out local businesses for quality products and support the local economy and community.