The only takeaway coffee stall at the inaugural Haig Park Village Markets at Braddon on Sunday (7 February) ran out of almond milk by 11:00 am. Many other stallholders had sold out of fruit and vegetables well beforehand.
Exact numbers were hard to put a finger on, but directors Rosie Green and Alex Webb said there had been a steady flow of people since before 8:00 am when stalls opened. By mid-morning, it was bustling as Canberrans came out in force on a perfectly sunny Sunday.
Even the dogs had a day out, with the canine companions of all shapes and sizes enjoying the market’s relaxed atmosphere.
“One of our stallholders has just gone to get a second load of stock,” Alex said. “It’s been a fantastic turnout. We couldn’t have asked for a better first market here.”
The queue for a coffee hit was long as baristas Craig and Kelly of Coops Coffee were flat out with flat whites and almond cappuccinos all morning … until supplies ran out.
“They went through nine kilograms of coffee beans and even ran out of water at one stage,” Alex said.
Yvonne and Eric drove four hours from Portland near Bathurst to sell their free-range eggs and honey. They had been warned to expect a bumper crowd.
“We’d received a message during the week that more than 47,000 people had seen an article that was written, so we thought if 2000 people came through, that would be great,” Eric told Region Media in between customers.
Yvonne said they had driven similar distances to markets in Sydney but said they would definitely be back at Braddon again.
“It’s a really lovely location here, and it’s so great people can bring their dogs and just sit around and relax too,” she said.
“It’s been a very long day for us, but very worthwhile to see so many people supporting the market.”
Other stallholders such as Camilleri Berries had sold out by 10:30 am, while Canberra Banjo’s Paddock organic farm sold out, restocked and then sold out again. Origin Bake’s breads also sold out twice.
Alex said feedback on the first market had been incredible, with many Braddon locals saying the farmers market was sorely needed in the area.
“So many people told us they were so happy to have this market on their doorstep,” she said. “Even the local businesses in Braddon welcomed the market with the extra foot traffic to the area.
“We’d pre-warned the stallholders it was going to be busy, but they all want to come back, so we’ll definitely have them along with a few new stalls to try and spread the crowds out a bit.
“I think we may need another fruit and veg stall and maybe another coffee one too.”
The Haig Park Village Market will be held every Sunday rain, hail or shine, from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm.