Looking to support food and drink businesses in Fife and beyond during lockdown, owner Matthew Corrie transformed his firm’s car park into a popular artisan street food market.
If you go down to play golf today, you’ll sure get a side of fries. At least, you will if you visit Adventure Golf Island at Fife Retail Park in Dunfermline.
Playing host to an array of artisan street food vendors in its car park, the adventure golf firm has been helping various hospitality and small businesses throughout lockdown, who may have had no other means of income or selling their fare to customers.
As the Boxing Day 2020 lockdown was enforced and hospitality once again faced severe operating restrictions, with only takeaways allowed, Matthew Corrie, the owner of Adventure Golf Island and organiser of the street food market, took the matter into his own hands.
He said: “It started off really slowly on December 27th. I had opened the adventure golf the day before, on Boxing Day, because we were allowed to be open. Back then I saw there were large queues of people wanting food at KFC and McDonalds, on the other side of the retail park, so I followed my gut instinct and thought that food is the way to go.
“It’s nothing against the chain restaurants but I thought that getting some artisan street food would be the way to go. I like food myself so I went on my way of trying to get the best street food trucks about and, slowly but surely, came across some real crackers and it’s just grown arms and legs since.
“It’s based in our car park. We’ve got a reasonably-sized complex so we turned that into a street food market.”
As word has spread about the market and demand has started to soar, Matthew has increased the operating times from five days a week to seven, beginning this week, with some businesses who appear at the market every day and others who are only there a few days a week.
Matthew added: We did have the market on for five days a week, but it’s now gone seven days a week. “Even though some of the businesses have been there every day, you can see the customers coming back and following on the Facebook page and checking to see what’s new on the menu.
Street food market now open 7 days a week! Make sure you follow our FB to find out who is here and when! 🍴Adventure…
“There are the same core ones during the week and we mix it up more at the weekends. So we tend to have new ones who come just for the weekend, predominantly because we have more demand for it then.
“People don’t need to play golf, they can just come for the market, which we’re delighted with.”
Food and drink fans such as Matthew may also be pleased to note the variety of food available.
Matthew continues: “Obviously I’m biased but it really is good food.
“The businesses are predominantly from Fife but there are a couple of really good ones that are coming from Edinburgh, such as Lovely Paella, who in my opinion do the best Spanish food in the country. We also have Harajuku Kitchen and a couple of Japanese ones also coming from Edinburgh.
“There’s also Young Spuds, who are very impressive with their menu. Connor is the owner of that and he’s been at our market since the beginning in December. He would do the five days a week and mixes up his menu – so I’ve been most impressed by his team’s creativity. I’m no chef myself but it’s very impressive how creative they are.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard at building it – my wife gets really tired of me looking through Facebook for new food options. But we also listen to the traders and the customers and the variety of food is what we’ve gone for. So we’ve made sure that there’s a different sort of international mix – we’ve got Greek, Spanish, Japanese.
“We know that people want something different. The most cheesy yet normal line we’ve heard is ‘it’s great because we’re not likely to be going to Spain anytime soon, or Greece anytime soon, so it’s great to have it on our doorstep’. It is really true – I’m married to a Spanish lady so I know that all the food is authentic and proper Spanish food, and proper Greek or Japanese food.”
Customers don’t have to sign up for a round of golf in order to experience the street food market and, according to Matthew, people have been delighted at the offering.
He adds: “People don’t need to play golf, they can just come for the market, which we’re delighted with.
“We’ve had loads of good feedback on social, which is very encouraging. I didn’t expect it to be this popular but people seem delighted with it – the local council are delighted with it, and the traders are delighted with it. For some of them, they’re usually event caterers and there’s been none of that about.
“Even though it started small, I think the traders we have all work well together. You can see them helping each other out occasionally, if someone’s run out of something someone else will pass some of theirs over. They’re like their own wee community themselves.
“All the traders are spread out, there’s hand santiser and social distancing measures in place, and it’s all outdoors, so you’re not going into a big enclosed building. At the moment it’s still classed as takeaway only, so they’re serving the food as that though we know the restrictions are soon to change.”
For more information on opening times and who will be present at the market each day, take a look at the Adventure Golf Island Facebook page here.