The Christmas Craft Market has returned to Pontcanna
The Christmas Craft Market has returned to Pontcanna

Optimism at Pontcanna Christmas Market despite rising cost of living

Owners remain hopeful that people will continue to shop locally over the festive season

PONTCANNA Christmas market returned for its fifth year at Kings Road Yard on Sunday and will run weekly until December 18.

The market was set up by Caroline and Keith Munro who bought the plot over 15 years ago.

“We wanted to do something for the community, not to develop the plot,” said Mrs Munro.

Since then, they have opened their studios and function room to host all sorts of creativity such as Welsh artist Carl Bevan Art who sold 10 of his paintings during his opening night on Friday.

Taking inspiration from Mrs Munro’s French heritage, the pair decided to set up their Farmers Market in 2016.

“We had the courtyard, and it was just an idea I had one day that we could have a market,” she said.

“I’m from France and there are always markets there, in the villages and in the towns.”

Mrs Munro’s French background and the Cardiff city centre Christmas market were part of the inspiration behind Pontcanna’s Christmas Market.

The courtyard at Kings Road Yard
The courtyard at Kings Road Yard in Pontcanna

“People need to have a place where they can meet person to person, trader to customer,” she said.

“The locals all come here and get to know each other, they become friends. It’s like a big family almost.”

Although the Farmers Market has been quieter than usual over the past few weeks, Mrs Munro said that it’s too soon to tell whether the cost of living crisis is the reason behind this.

She noted the poor weather, lack of parking spaces and school holidays as just a few other factors that could affect the markets.

Although things are likely to be more challenging for the Christmas traders this year, Mrs Munro is hopeful that shoppers will still be eager to buy sustainable crafts and shop small.

Cathays-based Louise Denham who owns Spun from The Soil pottery will be trading at Pontcanna Christmas Market on Nov 12.

The rising cost of living means that the 32-year-old is aiming to move away from online sales as it’s becoming too costly.

Although she tries to keep her prices as low as possible, each item needs up to 12 hours in a 1,200-degree kiln which means high energy bills.

“To get around this I also make smaller, less time-consuming items which are more affordable – such as love spoons that I can sell for around £5,” said Ms Denham.

Louise Denham’s stall at St Fagans market in November (Source: @spunfromthesoil on Instagram)

While Ms Denham feels fortunate to have a part-time job alongside her business, she believes that things could get difficult for those not in the same position as she sometimes struggles to make minimum wage with her crafts.

However, she is looking forward to trading and shopping at Kings Road Yard on Sunday.

“I’m optimistic that people will still want to buy handmade items, especially this time of year,” she said.