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Macknade Celebrates 175 Years

Macknade Celebrates 175 Years of Quality & Community 

Kent food & drink brand, Macknade, is celebrating its 175th birthday this September. Starting life as a family farm in 1847, Macknade is now a leading destination for UK foodies, with vibrant spaces in both Faversham & Ashford, and a curated range of hampers & gifts online. 

Birthday Party 

On Saturday 17th September, Macknade is celebrating its big birthday with a party in its Faversham Food Village. Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations, which include: 

– Live music from Gracie & the Booms and DJ Finchy 

– Tastings & masterclasses from select local producers, including Greens and Ridge Distillery and & Bloss coffee 

– Food & drink stalls 

– Kids craft activities 

The event is free of charge and guests can drop in at any point between 12-9 pm. The full programme of activities and further information about the event can be found at macknade.com. 

175 Years, 175 Prizes 

Between the 17th September and 15th October, all Macknade customers will have the opportunity to win one of 175 prizes during a special birthday prize draw. Anyone shopping in Macknade’s Faversham or Ashford stores during this period will be given a prizecard revealing what they’ve won, with prizes ranging from a tasting experience at Simpsons Vineyard to a limited-edition Macknade t-shirt. 

Stefano Cuomo, CEO and 6th generation of the family to lead Macknade, commented, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our team, our customers & our suppliers for their incredible support over the years. Macknade wouldn’t be anything without all of you and I am grateful to be a part of it. I encourage everyone to join us on September 17th to enjoy everything that makes Macknade so special. Bring your friends, bring your family and let us bring this glorious summer to a close in style.”  


History of Macknade 

In 1847, Frederick Neame Snr (Stefano’s great, great, great grandfather) started Macknade Farm in Faversham, which became one of the region’s leading fruit and vegetable growers, nationally renowned for its fruit, hops and livestock. Handed down through the generations, the farm developed a reputation for fantastic produce and in 1947, pears from the Macknade orchards were served at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to the late Philip Mountbatten. 

In 1979 Patricia Neame (Stefano’s mother) and her husband Renato Cuomo opened a P.Y.O on the corner of the family farm. Renato, an Italian native, originally from the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, brought an Italian influence to Macknade which is still very much a part of the brand today. 

Keeping connections to the land but moving away from farming, in 2001, the family decided to focus purely on retail. The last two decades have seen huge growth, expansion and divergence within Macknade. With quality produce continuing to come through the doors and a thriving community beginning to develop, it made perfect sense for Macknade to add a café to its Faversham retail space in 2011. 

This was further expanded in 2018 with an outdoor dining area, which later evolved into the Food Village – a marketplace showcasing the very best food & drink from hand-picked vendors. This vibrant space sees live music and families gather in the warmer months for tasty food, outdoor fun and support for local vendors serving up exceptional food. 

In 2020 Macknade took its next big step, venturing outside of Faversham to open a brand-new retail and restaurant space at Elwick Place in Ashford. Macknade Ashford opened just ahead of the Covid pandemic and secured its place at the heart of the community very quickly, and is a space which continues to thrive. 

Today, in an ever-changing world, Macknade is focussed on its mission of creating ‘favourite places’ for customers, suppliers & staff alike, in true community spirit. 

Find out more on Macknade’s website here.


Take a trip to Faversham’s Festival of Transport

What’s on at Faversham Festival of Transport?

On the weekend of the 14th and 15th May, Faversham town centre will be full of the sounds of engines revving and horns tooting as Faversham Festival of Transport comes to town!  This two day celebration of transport from across the decades will include vehicle displays, vintage bus rides, live music and stalls serving delicious food and drink.

Beautiful location

Faversham town centre has a fabulous Market Place and is packed with historic buildings – making it the perfect backdrop for a display of beautiful old vintage vehicles and sparkling sports cars.  With its lovely selection of independent shops and cafes, Faversham is also the perfect place to visit and enjoy your weekend. 

Programme of events

The highlight of Saturday is sure to be the FREE vintage bus rides taking place around Faversham and the surrounding countryside. For the older generations, these are a wonderful trip down memory lane and the youngsters are bound to adore a trip on a beautiful old bus!

On Saturday there will also be an electric vehicle event at the Church of St Mary of Charity in Church Road as well as a display of commercial vehicles throughout the town centre. 

Don’t forget, the oldest market in Kent – Faversham Charter Market – will be trading with its usual  selection of traders selling food and drink; clothing; collectibles; plants; homewares; pet supplies and more. 

Visit the market website here to learn more about the traders.

On Sunday, visitors will be treated to the main car show taking place in the Market Place, Court Street and Preston Street along with a display of steam vehicles down at Standard Quay at the bottom of Abbey Street.  The kids will also love the Go Kart Circuit located in the Central Car Park 

Make the most of Faversham

There are plenty of amazing places to visit and explore while you’re here – so why not make a day or even a weekend of it?  Standard Quay is within easy walking distance of the town centre and along with its attractive Creekside setting, it also boasts delicious places to eat and drink and some lovely antique shops too.

Brogdale Farm, just outside Faversham, is home to the National Fruit Collection – the world’s largest collection of temperate fruit trees.  It’s a beautiful place to visit.  It also has a popular Courtyard Café and shops selling plants, local beers,  fruit inspired local produce and artisan chocolate. 

The blossom at Brogdale Collections

If you love your food and drink, Macknade is well worth a visit.  This renowned food hall has one of the region’s best selections of fabulously curated food and drink, including produce from Kent and fine foods from around the continent.  Macknade also has a very popular indoor café and outdoor food deck – so why not grab some delicious lunch?  There’s a free park and ride service running from Macknade to the town centre, so you can catch a lift into the thick of the Festival and leave your car at Macknade for free.

If you have time, you could also enjoy one of the areas beautiful walks, followed by a spot of lunch in a rural pub.  For walking suggestions, check out the link here.

Helpful information

The car parks get pretty busy over the weekend, in addition, roadworks are planned on the M2 between Sittingbourne and Faversham during the weekend.  So why not enjoy another mode of transport and take the train!  There’s a regular service from London, Ebbsfleet, Canterbury, Dover and Ramsgate.

There’s also a free park and ride service running throughout the Festival, from Macknade, Selling Road, Faversham, ME13 8XF.

Free park and ride service from Macknade

If you do decide to drive, you can find more information about local parking here

For further information on visiting Faversham for the Transport Festival, take a look at their website here.  The Visit Faversham website can give you more ideas on places to visit and things to do while you’re here too.


Celebrating Faversham with our Mad March Markets

Celebrating Faversham with our Mad March Markets

By Jess Roberts

Faversham Markets hosted a weekend of Mad March Markets and great fun was had by all.

Fun-packed weekend

The Mad March Markets brought thousands of visitors into Faversham on the 26th and 27th of March. What a weekend it was. 

The event was organised by Faversham Town Council, Faversham Markets, Red Dog PR and many great volunteers. It was held to celebrate the arrival of spring and life getting back to normal, following two years of restrictions. 

Many old and new faces took to the cobbled streets to set up their wonderful stalls full of local produce, handmade items, artwork, interactive crafts and more. Visiting Faversham Markets is always a great opportunity to meet the maker, and likewise for the businesses to meet their customers. We saw a lot of happy shoppers and stallholders spending time getting to know each other at the market weekend, which isn’t something you’ll see in national retail chains! You’ll always find a warm welcome and smiling faces here, the Faversham community is one of the best. 

Businesses joined in the fun!

Many of Faversham’s local businesses and shops also got involved in the Mad March Weekend and worked very hard on their window displays. A challenge was set to Faversham’s shops prior to the event to decorate their windows, celebrating all things spring, and we weren’t disappointed. The public voted for their favourites, and the results came in at the end of the second day. 

First place went to The Yarn Dispensary, who decorated their windows beautifully in knitted bunting, stockings, jumpers, and more. Their trophy was presented to The Yarn Dispensary team by Faversham’s Mayor, Alison Reynolds. A special shout out has to go out to the two runners up, Ollie Bongos Pet Essentials and Lotty’s Flowers, whose windows were superb. A lot of time and effort went into everybody’s windows and the results were very close – Faversham town centre looked very special. Thank you to all those that took part, and to the sponsors Alloy Marketing. 

Fun and games

Activities throughout the weekend included the Spot The Hare trail, which was another great success. Hundreds of programmes were picked up and taken around Faversham’s shops to find the hidden hares. The aim was to jot down the letter that the hare was hiding to spell out a secret word. Everybody that completed the task was entered into a hat to pick two winners to win family tickets to the Royal Cinema and some lovely spring pots from Richard’s Plants. 

During the course of the weekend, there was live music, entertainment, and even an appearance from a very cute, miniature pony!

Labyrinth and The Hospice Band provided visitors with some great music which attracted a great crowd, provided a fantastic atmosphere and was key to the success of the event. The two bands also managed to raise an admirable amount of £600 to help support the Hospice and the crisis in Ukraine.

Merryman the Jester was also present, providing fun and entertainment for the children. He never fails to impress with his juggling, magic tricks and silly pranks.  Roleplay Rascals created a fantastic dressing up opportunity, where children could pose in child-sized toy packaging! Craft activities were provided by local charity Holding On Letting Go on Saturday and on Sunday, Nan in a Van entertained the children with pottery painting.

In addition to all of this, we also had a special guest named Rupert. Rupert was a Shetland pony who visited the markets on the Saturday. He enjoyed his time taking photos with the Easter bunny, getting petted by the visitors and munching on hay throughout the day. If you missed him, he will be back at Christmas!  Rupert’s appearance was sponsored by Harrisons Homes and also managed to raise an admirable £200 for Holding On Letting Go.

A great success

Overall, the event was a huge success and brought everyone together after a tough time during the course of the pandemic. We look forward to many more events in Faversham in the weeks to come. 

Claire Windridge, from Faversham Town Council, says: “The purpose of the weekend’s activities was to welcome visitors and shoppers back to Faversham and showcase the town’s wonderful shops and  businesses. A massive thank you to the visitors and businesses who supported the event, it was wonderful to see so many people in town having fun.”

Thank you

Congratulations to Faversham Market,  Faversham Town Council, Red Dog PR and all the charities, stallholders, businesses and entertainers who worked hard to ensure the weekend was a success.  A wonderful example of everyone working together for the good of Faversham.