The New Way to Shop
A Fresh Take on Retail
No matter the weather, one of the team’s favourite weekend activities is heading to the local markets. Whether you’re strolling through endless stalls hunting for morsels to nibble on, trying out some neat homespun crafts, hoarding new vintage finds or packing fresh produce for your pantry, markets can be oddly therapeutic, providing a way to disconnect from devices, connect with communities and spend quality time with family. Their rising popularity is also seeing a change in how we shop, providing support to local farmers, artists and designers.
Celebrating local foodie culture
One of the main reasons these markets keep us coming back is the delicious food – from freshly baked goods, pies, fries, coffee, juices and so much more. And, with each market having its own unique spin, the range of food is pulling us out of our lazy weekend slumber with breakfast and live entertainment dishing up a more vibrant atmosphere.
If you’ve been to Market Central Taupō, you’ll know it’s a foodie’s heaven, with Korean, Kiwiana, Argentinean, Vegan Raw, American BBQ and Asian fusion amidst its range of gourmet cuisine.
Further north, Brigitte from Rotorua Farmers Markets, echoes similar market sentiments.
“John and Rose Norton from the Mobile Chef are one of the favourites at the Rotorua Farmers Market with their incredible pastries,” she enthuses. “Saturday night’s see them prepping the dough before rising at 3am on Sunday mornings to begin cooking the melt-in-your-mouth Danishes to serve at the market. Delicious!”
If there’s anywhere to find authentic local flavour, our regional markets are the place to be. Whether it’s Rotorua’s Māori tastes, Taupō’s lakeside, or Tauranga’s inner-city experiences, we’re tuning into these shopping spaces for more than one reason.
Number one being that you just can’t beat homegrown. From the best unprocessed natural products directly from AlfaBees’ Bay of Plenty hive at the Community Night Markets at Bethlehem, to the biggest blueberries grown in Te Puke at the Rotorua Farmers Market – the selection is diverse and ‘real’.
And, more often than not our choice to ‘go to market’ is fuelled by location and atmosphere. “One of the best parts about Market Central Taupō is our stunning location, with views of the lake and mountains – this and the overall vibe created by stallholders and our community make it the ultimate spot to enjoy delicious street food and local live music here in Taupō,” says Karen Cederwall of Taupō’s Market Central. “There will be an upgrade to Northcroft Reserve in May that will make it an even more enjoyable experience for all visitors.”
Embracing all things artisan
Like many consumers, we’ve been moving away from strictly shopping for products, instead seeking a more engaging experience. Which means those handmade, vintage and craft items have become firm favourites among marketgoers – the one-of-a-kind, local goods that express your individuality.
“Talented artists are in abundance at Community Night Markets at Bethlehem, check out Custom Mole Did, with their handmade puzzles for you to try,” says Jen Murray of Community Night Markets at Bethlehem. “Marketgoers are continuously fascinated with the classic ‘Ring and String’ – try removing the stainless-steel ring, the ‘Packing Puzzle’ that requires you to fit all 12 pieces into the box, and the ‘Polar Star’ with its six identical interlocking pieces.”
And, on the foodie front, our palates are definitely more sophisticated than they were 10 to 15 years ago. Because dining out is now more commonplace in daily lives, we’re seeking variety and diversity in our choice of cuisine. New dishes, flavours, ingredients are piquing our interest and testing our abilities to recreate these experiences at home. This is perhaps why shopping at markets for homegrown and speciality food shops for those unique and gourmet items is fast becoming the popular choice over mainstream supermarkets.
People want to try, test and buy the different, the specialist and the not-your-usual – the demand is there, explains Liz of Tauranga’s gourmet grocer, Vetro.
“Vetro directly imports a superior range of Italian tomato and pasta products, stocking foods from Turkey, Greece, Scandinavia, Holland, Mexico, Asia, Spain and France, among others,” she says. “While we stock some excellent New Zealand products, our beautiful wine range showcases Europe at its best. And of course, it wouldn’t be Mediterranean without incredible cheeses and speciality meats.”
Market Central Taupō
Whether you are searching out a unique New Zealand made artisan gift, seeking fresh seasonal produce or looking for a spot to enjoy delicious street food and the regions finest freshly roasted coffee, with views of the lake and local live music entertainment, Market Central Taupō provides!
- Every Sunday, 9am – 1pm
- Northcroft Reserve, Taupō
Hokomanga Ahuwhenua, Rotorua Farmers Market
Located in the heart of Rotorua, this vibrant market offers fresh produce, delicious hand-made baked treats, artisan breads and speciality foods alongside local arts and crafts. Open all year round, the market moves into our Rainy-Day Store (1180 Hinemoa Street) if weather is wet.
- Every Sunday, 9am – 1pm
- Te Manawa, Tūtānekai Street, Rotorua
Community Night Markets
A truly community environment that reflects a talented and creatively diverse range of stallholders with a social and environmental conscience. They support local entrepreneurs, crafts people, artists, upcyclers, and foodies who come with fascinating back stories as to why they are involved in the market scene.
- 2nd Friday of the month, 5:30 – 8:30pm
- Bethlehem Hall, SH 2, Tauranga
Vetro Mediterranean Foods
specialises in quality food and wine from around the world, at every day prices.
One of five stores with a huge variety of products ranging from dried fruits and nuts through to aged balsamic vinegars, infused olive oils and specialty cheeses, Vetro is a food lovers haven.
- Monday – Saturday
- 111 Third Avenue, Tauranga