It’ll be a lot more fun than the major food retailers,’ James Quayle is talking about the new outdoor food market he is bringing to Douglas next month.

Held on the North Quay and run by the newly established Manx Food Market Traders Association (Manx FMTA) it will offer not only a wide range of food stalls but also street food and live entertainment.

James goes on: ‘But there’s a very serious thing behind this and that is that, at the moment, if you want to buy Manx food produced on the island you have to go to five or six places. And it’s really hard. And most people will say they prefer to buy Manx and they prefer to keep the money on the island. So we are going to give them a chance to do both.

‘The Manx FMTA has been set up to help establish a flourishing food market culture on the Isle of Man, through establishing new markets and supporting existing regular food markets. Douglas Foodies Market is our first, and most ambitious, initiative.

‘We want to provide consumers with reliable food markets that offer a real alternative to their regular supermarket shop. By doing this we will open up the opportunities for new producers as well as supporting the local economy.

‘At the heart of everything we do will be providing the most practical and enjoyable experience for shoppers – offering a broad range of produce alongside a great atmosphere.’

The Manx FMTA is working with DEFA and Douglas City Centre Management to launch the market

‘We will act as the liaison between stall holders and the government departments, making it easier for established and first time traders to get involved,’ says James.

The new market will be held on alternative Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and will comprise stalls selling fresh produce, ingredients and prepared food, providing the public with a real alternative to their usual supermarket food shop. The stalls will be in marquees if it’s raining but otherwise it will be an outdoor market. They are aiming for the first market to be held on June 24.

Most of the traders will be able to take cards as well as cash.

James says: ‘All the food businesses who were at last year’s Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival have been approached and most of them are very positive. Douglas City Centre Management has also featured it in its newsletter.’

Based on the responses, they hope to be offering a wide range of local food: meat, handmade Manx chocolate, fish, gourmet mushrooms, duck eggs, hens’ eggs, vegetables, cheese, hot sauce, macarons, Noa Bakehouse bread.

James says: ‘Not all produce is going to be Manx, because we want to do a whole basket. But, for those people who are credited with the Manx Provenance mark, there will be a sign posted on their own stall and we will cluster all the Manx produce stalls in one area so people can clearly identify them.

‘On the street food so far, we got interest from Thai, Indian, Caribbean, crepes, ice cream and Mexican. Basically we’ve covered most of the globe.’

James goes on: ‘The formal application forms are going out this week. If anyone else would like to apply they can email [email protected].

‘The interesting thing is, we’re not going to charge traders anything. Both DEFA and Douglas City Centre management are supporting it, to get us up and running.’

James will be there himself, helping his friends, Fary and Martina Coleman, with their Manx Gourmet Mushrooms stall.

His wide ranging CV includes working on brand development and strategy at BBC Worldwide and on programmes including Walking with Dinosaurs and Blue Planet, and on a range of other projects for, amongst others, the King of Saudi Arabia and Liverpool Football Club.

He returned to the island when his father’s health was declining and he had to go into a care home. James now lives in Douglas, in the house his grandfather built and his father lived in before him.

‘I’m the third generation and I’ve spent the last three years turning the garden from shingle and concrete into the highest maintenance possible,’ he says.

One of the best things about the new food market, he thinks, it that ‘it will provide locals with a place just to hang out, sample some street food and listen to live music’. As he says, it’s a lot more fun than the usual weekly shop.

He is also grateful for the encouragement and support he is receiving from DEFA and Douglas City Centre Management.

Oliver Cheshire, head of Douglas City Centre Management said: ‘We are excited about bringing a regular open air food market to North Quay, the site of the previously bustling Victorian market.

‘It achieves all of our objectives, creating a bustling ambience, offering the locals a useful amenity, a commercial benefit to local businesses by strengthening North Quay as one of the island’s premier hospitality venues and a place for all of the diverse communities from across the island, to come together.’

Adi Moore, head of Food and Drink Development at DEFA, added: ‘We are delighted to support the Foodie Market: it will celebrate all types of local food and provide a one stop shop for those looking to buy more Manx Produce. It a real win win story - supporting local producers, keeping spend in the local economy and lowering food miles.’

Traders and potential stall holders can find out more by emailing [email protected].