Markets have long been a rising trend in South Africa.
Artisan and creative entrepreneurs are without a doubt, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this increase in popularity, with more SMEs across the country serving customers with locally sourced ‘farm to table’ food and handcrafted products.
These businesses are catering to a young and trendy crowd that is increasingly looking for healthy, sustainable and authentic experiences – think specialist and niche products like craft beers, ethically sourced coffee, organic or gourmet foods and fashion items.
Cape Town and Johannesburg are home to the biggest markets in the country.
Find out the best spots for creative entrepreneurs to trade – Here are 10 of the biggest artisan markets in these two cities.
1. BrownSense Market (Johannesburg and Cape Town)
The BrownSense’s monthly markets are a buy-black initiative by BrownSense which is one of South Africa’s largest networking communities for black entrepreneurs.
At their markets, held in Cape Town and Johannesburg, you will find black-owned businesses selling everything from fresh food and drinks to African-inspired clothing and accessories. The family-friendly markets also have live entertainment.
Some brands that can be found at the markets are Pure Royal hair products, non-alcoholic wine brand, Sena Wines, accessories brand, Fab Wrap Lifestyle and dessert brand, Tengo’s Tasty Treats.
Businesses at the markets have to be members of the BrownSense Facebook community.
2. Neighbourgoods Market, The Old Biscuit Mill (Cape Town)
The Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town located in the Old Biscuit Mill is one of the longest standing markets and won the 2013 Eat Out award for Best Market in its region.
Specialty coffee brand Origin Coffee, Cravings Bakery, and Something Simple Cape Town are three of over 100 specialty traders that you’ll find at this market.
The market primarily focuses on food and drinks.
3. LoCrate Market (Johannesburg)
LoCrate Market, located in Soweto, was launched by a group of creatives looking to showcase the talents of other creatives and to change misconceptions about Soweto, co-founder Sifiso Dlangamandla said in an interview with MoneyWeb.
In the same interview Dlangamandla says the market is focussed on consumer products. Stallholders are SMEs who specialise mainly in fashion and food.
“Primarily the stallholders are SMMEs, people who have fashion brands, people who are into gourmet food, we are starting to see a lot of people doing desserts and some of the things are not African or it’s not what we grew up with but obviously adopting the European style, which is great,” Dlangamandla said.
The market also offers free marketing to their vendors on their LoCrate Facebook page.
Some of the brands you are likely to find are True Jays Clothing, beverage brand, Thirst Trap juices and Black Chef Burger and Wings.
4. Market on Main (Johannesburg)
Held weekly at the Maboneng Precinct, Market On Main offers a space for food, drink and design vendors.
Market on Main is also well known for showcasing local designers. The market was started by design entrepreneurs Jacques van der Watt of fashion label Black Coffee and Bradley Kirshenbaum of Love Jozi – with a vision to give food and design entrepreneurs a space to trade.
5. Neighbourgoods Market (Johannesburg)
The Neighbourgoods Market, held every Saturday in Braamfontein has a variety of food stalls owned by various small businesses selling everything from fresh vegetables, gourmet food and specialist coffees.
It is a sister event to Cape Town’s market and also strongly focusses on food.
Well known vendors are Darling Brewery, gin and tonic brand, Ace and Pearl and fashion brand, Project Inflamed.
6. 1 Fox Market (Johannesburg)
The 1 Fox market is one of the newest entries to the artisan market scene.
The market, which launched in 2016, is a weekly foodhall-style market located within the 1 Fox Precinct, a cluster of cleverly converted historic warehouses in the heart of Johannesburg’s old mining district. The businesses featured at the market are predominately street food stalls.
Market favourites are Just Teddy bakery, fashion brand The Edge by Aasiya and Von Pickartz Belgian Waffles.
7. Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market (Cape Town)
The Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market is located in Muizenberg and takes place every Friday night in an old postal plane hangar.
Businesses at this market trade in specialty foods, drinks, arts and crafts, this includes handmade jewellery brand, Neilpot Creations, Babycakes Chocolates and Tacos Locos, a Mexican-style food business.
8. Fourways Farmers Market (Johannesburg)
If you’re an entrepreneur with a passion for selling local fresh produce, the Fourways Farmers Market is the place to trade.
The focus of this market is on fresh, farm to table goods.
Vendors at this market are known for their fresh food, craft beer, confectionery, artisanal baked goods and more. There’s also a wide range of art and décor entrepreneurs showcasing at the market.
Gatsby’s Station, Pop Cafe SA and cocktail bar, Sumting Fresh, are just some of the vendors trading at this market.
9. The Bay Harbour Market (Cape Town)
The indoor Bay Harbour market is the only seaside market on the list. The market, situated in Hout Bay, Western Cape, showcases traders who sell traditional food and a variety of drinks from raw juices to craft beer.
There’s also an array of traders selling everything from crafts and novelties to artwork, vintage clothing, jewellery, vinyl music and memorabilia.
Some of the businesses trading at this market include Brilliant Bags, The Bread Baker and sunglasses brand, Pedro Polarised.
10. 27 Boxes (Johannesburg)
27 Boxes is a permanent market space in Melville launched in 2017. The market is open seven days a week and hosts entrepreneurs that trade trendy clothing, food and arts and crafts.
Businesses that trade at 27 Boxes include restaurant The Side Plate, kids clothing brand, Skates and Candy and BB’s Biltong Bar. What sets this market apart is that it was built out of old shipping containers.
27 boxes also hosts night markets.
Source: SME South Africa