Farmers cash in on hungry office workers

Tucked away amongst the high rise buildings and crowds of suits in the heart of Perth’s CBD you’ll find the city’s only regular mid-week farmers’ market.

About a dozen local growers and value-add producers show off their wares every second Wednesday, where passersby can grab a bite to eat and some weekly groceries.

It’s only the fourth market in the bustling Central Park location, on the corner of Hay and William streets, and it’s proven to be a hit.

“I think it’s just a really good positive thing to have some market activity in the city, it’s a cool vibe,” says Carl, who’s taking a bag of local apples back to his office.

Wanneroo fruit and vegetable grower Tony Holl is thrilled with the repeat business he’s getting in this unique location.

“If you sell it yourself of course you get a better profit… at lunchtime it’s crazy here.

“This will be one of the top markets that you can actually get because of the amount of people here.

“What they buy is incredible. One bought over $100 worth of stuff.  I just couldn’t believe it.”

Tony says linking grassroots producers with city dwellers is what it’s all about.

“We’re education the people.  People ask me how to grow vegies in their backyard and how to grow trees and I can tell them.”

Christine Gladki is the brains behind this new micro farmers’ market. 

She often spends her weekends in the eastern wheatbelt so she wanted a mid-week option for busy city workers that aren’t able to get to the traditional suburban farmers’ markets.

“It’s been great for the growers.  It’s made a great connection with new consumers.

“There’s a need for it… we’ve tapped into the diversity that’s in the city.”

Coming from a family of potato growers in New Zealand, Market Manager Bev McGhie has a specific vision for this market.

“If you pulled it out of the ground, if you plucked it, you caught it, you shot it, it fell over, you picked it up, dusted it off and put it on, that’s what is sold.”

From honey and olive oil, to pasta and blueberries, there is an array of fresh produce that’s close to sold out by close at 2pm.   

Bev McGhie has decided to cap the number of stall holders to 15 so the niche image is maintained.   

“There’s only so much you can eat on your plate, it makes us more pure and authentic.”


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