Starlings’ Wednesday afternoon food market is a happy place – there’s no better way to describe it. It’s all dappled sunlight, bustling colours and chattering people – happy people. Traders and customers do a quick catch-up on arrival before delving into the sharing that masquerades as trading here. Money and goods are exchanged, but so are recipes, ideals and passions. It oozes bonhomie.
Set in the picturesque little garden at Starlings Café, it lends itself to intimacy and a sense of community. We feel it’s our very own ‘secret garden’ where traders and shoppers have become friends we look forward to spending time with each week.
Matt Allison peddles his veggies as an excuse to convert us all to growing our own in any available urban space. Ask him about foraging and urban farming and you’ll have his undivided attention. He uses his beautiful Heirloom veg (grown on his own allotment) as bait to draw you in. Once he has you, he’s hard to ignore.
Julie Carter (Ocean Jewels Fresh Fish) peeps over her stack of cooler boxes packed with ice, lemons and glossy, fresh fish. Hake, Angelfish, Salmon and pole caught Tuna are among the catch of the day – stock may vary with the seasons, but freshness is a constant. Her dad’s a fisherman and both are passionate about sustainable fishing and how best to prepare the catch. Try her home made fish cakes, they’re a winner!
Richard and Marjolyn are the sweetest couple in every sense. They tend and harvest local suburban hives for organic honey. You may think honey is honey is honey – it isn’t. Spend time with them as they explain the virtues of their product and soon you’ll be sold on their liquid gold.
Unlike her produce, Aletta from the Afrikara co-op is an acquired taste. Most customers seem a little afraid of her, but her farm fresh dairy products keep them coming back week after week. There is no substitute for unpasteurised cream and milk. Nothing has been tampered with; you’re dealing with a complete and pure product the way nature intended, much the same can be said of Aletta.
Marcelle and Maurice of Simply Wholesome stock a range of local, artisanal delicacies. Their chicken and eggs are free range, jams truly whole fruit and the butter the best I’ve tasted. They’re a lovely couple, putting client relations second only to freshness in their business.
Richard Bosman struts his stuff – but mostly on his label. It’s Indigo that sells a range of his beautifully cured meats.
More recent traders include Eastlynne with her tangy lime cordials and Angela and her doggy biscuits made at the ‘barkery’. Fabio and Luan from Pasta Lauro display a selection of fresh pasta which includes spinach & ricotta ravioli and delectable, plump gnocchi. And be sure to try an ice cream from the Creamery’s new pop-up shop on the front verandah – rich, creamy goodness in a cone.
All traders are existing suppliers to Trish, owner of Starlings café. Her standards are high and only the best produce is good enough for her clientele – whether eaten at Starlings or taken home to cook.
An afternoon at this intimate little market will leave you with not only the freshest produce in town, but with renewed joie de vivre and the inspiration to make the most of your purchases.
94 Belvedere Road
021 671 6875
Food Market: Every Wednesday afternoon from 4 to 6pm
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