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Suffolk People: Talking to Jac Cassidy from Deben Events

Jac Cassidy, Deben Events, Woodbridge, SuffolkJac Cassidy is an events organiser, who organises markets in various locations across Suffolk under the name of Deben Events. These markets are not your average market though – the emphasis with Jac’s events,  is on keeping things fresh, a bit quirky, sometimes vintage, sometimes contemporary and always high quality. We caught up with Jac as she was busy organising her next event: Vintage & Modern, which takes place on 7th July in Woodbridge.

What makes your events different from other markets?
When we set the business up we all agreed that we wanted the markets to have a little taste of the street markets found in London, like Portobello Road, Spitalfields and Columbia Road. We wanted them to be a place where you people could come to find something a little different, walk about with a coffee, meet up with friends and meet traders, local artisans and producers face-to-face. It’s the retail antithesis of the mass-produced, mechanised methods found in supermarkets!

What new developments have you got planned?
We’re keen to keep things fresh. As markets go, we’re a little unusual in that every one of our traders has been invited to take part, rather than just booking a pitch. It means that we can keep things interesting for visitors by rotating stallholders from time to time. We’re also keen to attract more traders selling local food and drink to make the markets even more rounded and supportive of smaller Suffolk businesses.

What are the most popular type of products that are sold at your markets?
It depends on what kind of market we’re doing. With the vintage markets, the fashions are really popular as they’re items that you simply won’t find on the high street and are unique. Similarly, the homewares, whether new or vintage, are a popular buy. Again, it’s about giving people a chance to buy one-off, handmade or older things that they won’t find elsewhere.

Have you got a ‘most memorable moment’ relating to your business?
The first ever market we did in Woodbridge back in June 2009 was very special. We wanted to give the event the official seal, so invited the Mayor of Woodbridge to open it. A local schoolboy started proceedings with a trumpet fanfare on the steps of the Shire Hall and the mayor looked splendid in all his regalia, but we forgot to give him a megaphone so no-one could hear much of what he said! And Pippa Middleton coming to our Christmas Market last year certainly stands out as memorable. Other celebs we’ve spotted include Bill Nighy and Griff Rhys Jones. We keep waiting for Johnny Depp to turn up!

Deben Events Vintage market Deben Events Vintage market Deben Events Vintage market

What three things do you like most about living/working in Suffolk?
I love being close to the coast, and will happily escape for a few hours by taking the dog for a walk along Shingle Street or along the sandy shore at Bawdsey.

It’s a good place to bring up children, as they can experience the freedom of the coast and forests near to where we live. On warmer evenings, we like nothing better than heading off to Rendlesham for a ‘cookout’ on a two-ring camping stove and a clamber on the wooden climbing frames!

I like the timeless atmosphere of Suffolk’s market towns. It’s also good to feel that, particularly in our hometown of Woodbridge, our markets are contributing in some small way to their continued prosperity.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Suffolk?
Oooh, too many to choose from. I’m a real fan of Woodbridge’s eateries, such as The King’s Head, The Anchor, The Galley and the recently opened The Table. Then again, I love heading for brunch treat at Milsoms in Kesgrave or a mug of coffee and a bacon butty at the Felixstowe Ferry café.

Where is your favourite place to go for a walk in Suffolk?
A walk along the River Deben with my family and the dog tops my list.

Deben Events Vintage market

What is your favourite Suffolk event of the year and why?
Can I say our markets?! Other events I really enjoy are Westleton Barrel Fair, which is a lovely village summertime get-together, and the fireworks over Thorpeness Meare which, for me, signal the end of summer. For a nice slice of macabre fun, The Molly Men walking through the streets of Middleton with their faces blackened and beating a lone drum on a cold night on St Stephen’s Day is something that everyone should experience during a Suffolk Christmas.

What’s your favourite Suffolk tipple?
A nice chilled glass of Aspall organic cyder. It really hits the spot on a summer’s afternoon.

Most fun/interesting fact about yourself?
I’m a mean Scottish country dancer!

Thought for the day/philosophy on life?
My Gran used to say: “What’s for you, won’t go by you.” I suppose that’s the Scottish equivalent of “Que sera, sera”. However, I also believe that you have to make things happen and put in some effort if you’re ever going to hit a lucky streak.

The next Woodbridge Market – Vintage & Modern takes place on Saturday 7th July between 10am and 4pm on the Market Hill and Shire Hall, Woodbridge. For more information visit the Deben Events website and you can also follow the team on Twitter @debenevents

If you have already attended one of the events and would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below, we would love to hear from you.

You can also keep in touch by ‘liking’ us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. This is a community website and we welcome contributions from anyone who would like to write about Suffolk or leave comments about places they have visited. All you need to do is register (just your name and email address) and then you can start writing!


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Written by Mark

One Response to Suffolk People: Talking to Jac Cassidy from Deben Events

  1. […] from the editor: Read our interview with Jac Cassidy from Deben Events, organisers of these wonderful vintage markets, to find out what she loves about […]

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