New market to showcase local fare

2015-04-30 14:39
The Valley Market co-founders Elaine Watson (left) and Elsje Smuts
.                     Photo: SUPPLIED

The Valley Market co-founders Elaine Watson (left) and Elsje Smuts . Photo: SUPPLIED

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PORT ELIZABETH’s first local artisan food fair, The Valley Market, will open its doors to the public in the historic Baakens Valley precinct on Saturday, May 2.

Market-goers will be able to savour a mouth-watering array of locally sourced organic produce, freshly baked goods, deli meats and cheeses, as well as craft beers and boutique wines, from about 30 exhibitors.

Inspired by the popular Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield and the Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town, the PE fair aims to contribute to the ongoing rejuvenation of the Central area and assist with community upliftment.

The event will be held in a revamped rustic warehouse space in Alabaster Road and is currently scheduled for the first Saturday of every month but organisers hope that consistent support will allow it to become a weekly “fix”.

The market is the brainchild of Elsje Smuts of Trueblue Communication and Events and Elaine Watson of the non-profit organisation Love Story.

The two first met at Smuts’s Christmas in the Home market last year, where Watson was selling crafts made by disadvantaged women as part of Love Story’s skills development programme.

“I’ve always dreamed of PE having this kind of market and when I met Elsje I knew she would be the right person to run it,” Watson said.

“We immediately clicked and started dreaming. Our vision was the same – to see an innovative, high-calibre approach to markets, with a festive family atmosphere.”

Smuts said the most important aspect would be the quality, variety and flavour of the food on offer.

“We want to create an inspiring feast for the senses that keeps people coming back.”

She said every facet of the visitors’ experience had been factored into the planning and development of their concept.

“It must be an amazing experience from the minute they park their cars to when they exit the market with a bag of delicious treats.”

Smuts said picnic tables would allow friends and families to linger longer and share a wholesome meal together.

Although the market is at present limited to food items, she said the organisers would consider opening it up to crafters and other artisans in the near future.

Entry costs R10 per person, with a portion of the proceeds going to Love Story. The non-profit organisation ministers to the needs of the destitute in Nelson Mandela Bay through a variety of upliftment projects, education programmes and feeding schemes.

Market-goers are encouraged to bring along any unwanted clothing or goods for distribution to the needy.

A limited number of stands are still available for interested exhibitors who meet the criteria for the market.

For more information, go to Alternatively, phone Elsje on 082 873 7663 or email

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