Faces at Grey Lynn Farmers Market

Like most other organisations and individuals, Farmers markets around the country have been closed during lockdown.

This is a taste of what some of the stallholders from Grey Lynn Farmers Market have been doing.

Isabel Pasch is one of our committee members and founder of Bread and Butter Bakery. She has been super busy reworking the bakery and cafe space to provide a delivery service – not just for their bakery products but also for other market sellers: milk, eggs, veggie boxes and fruit boxes have all become available through this service. This has been extremely popular with delivery slots quickly filling as more are introduced. Isabel is extremely grateful that Rebekah (another committee member and co-founder of Hakanoa Handmade Drinks) has used her van to help out with the deliveries.

Our vegetable sellers (George’s Garden, BioVG, Hunter’s Garden, and Papatuanuku marae) have all been doing their best to take orders and deliver them to customers’ doors. But it is a tough gig operating this way and most are struggling to keep up with the demand. Of course, they are delighted to know that customers appreciate their produce and service.

That Fruit Shop is a family affair. Due to age rules, Rufus and Annette have to stay strictly in their bubble, so their kids are helping where they can. Their kids all have full-on, full-time jobs, albeit from home offices through it all so they are super busy! The family has been blown away by the response to their fruit delivery service. At first, they were only doing their own deliveries but, now, the mixed fruit boxes are now available through shop.breadandbutter.nz

Carl has been looking after his hens, sending Nature’s Fresh Eggs to several home delivery services (including shop.BreadandButter.nz), all while preparing to move to a new farm!

Jersey Girl Organics has been delighted to learn that its milk won a gold medal in the Outstanding Food Producers Awards for 2020. It was so lucky that the judges were able to meet and sample contestants wares before lockdown!

Giovanna has been talking to customers to let them know that Massimiliano (the cheese maker) is delivering a selection of fresh il Casaro cheeses to Farro, a few shops and My Food Bag. But none of their usual restaurant customers are able to operate.

Melissa had to put her Something Big is Brewing kombucha ‘mothers’ into hibernation over lockdown. Now that she has MPI approval, she is waking them up and starting to do home deliveries for her regular customers.

Cameron has been roasting and grinding The Coffee Store coffee beans at home with a bit of help from his young son. Luckily, coffee is one of those products that is easy to send by courier.

Likewise, Ruth and Dave have been sending their The Tea Thief teas to customers by courier.

Happy Bee Keeping moved their bee business to Kerikeri a few weeks before lockdown. They now own New Zealand’s largest beehive and hope to host visitors when allowed. In the meantime, they are jarring honey and sending it to customers.

Satomi and Ryo had to stop making their popular omirice during the lockdown period so they are using the time to do paperwork and re-check their food control plan to ensure they will be cooking and serving safe food for customers when the
market returns.

Flower grower Alice is putting all her energy into planning for spring and making sure she has an abundance of beautiful, scented, joyful spring blooms as early as she can. This means she’s in her greenhouse sowing seeds, out in the fields composting and amending soil and studying seed catalogues to find new and exciting flowers to grow and share.

At The Midnight Baker, the ovens are on and Yeshe and her team are busy baking bread for online store customers, Farro and Commonsense Organics stores. They’re expanding their product range to include some of our cafe favourites such as our GF, Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies and essentials such as coffee, flour and yeast. We’ve partnered with our couriers to provide contactless delivery across Auckland and all of Aotearoa.

For everyone, upending their business models overnight has been a big challenge. Not everyone has been able to keep operating and those who have tell me that their incomes have fallen dramatically. They are having to work much harder for that income, and their costs have increased. It has been tough for everyone. Customised orders are harder than most expected, and making door-to-door deliveries is much harder than they expected.

And, most of all, they miss their customers and the other stallholders. They are looking forward to a time when we can all be together again.