Fresh. Local. Seasonal. Sustainable. Community-focused. Buy direct from local growers and makers at the Fitzroy Mills Market.
We visited the inaugural session of The Fitzroy Mills Market last Saturday, and we left with our shopping totes and hearts full. We loved talking to the farmers, growers, makers and artisans who had produced the fresh, vibrant and delicious products for sale.
Situated at the iconic site of the former Fitzroy Mills, which was more recently a carpark, the walls of the market are adorned with graffiti artwork, lending a colourful edge to the market boundary. The market has been founded by three siblings, Aphrodite, Chris and Ari, who honour their family’s history on the site and also their own drive to create a community wellness hub.
Our first stop, (naturally!) was a visit to the permanent coffee installation operated by legendary local coffee roaster, Industry Beans. A shipping container has been converted into a caffeine-haven, a maker-of-mornings, a bringer-of-joy to all of us who love coffee.
Industry Beans at The Fitzroy Mills Market
We loved chatting to Michael from Port of Plenty who sold fresh mussels and edible seaweeds - wakame and mekabu. The seaweeds are sustainably hand harvested from Victoria’s coastal waters, with nothing added. Great to include in stir-fries or crumbled on eggs, the seaweeds are nutritional powerhouses and provide a beautiful flavour to dishes.
Michael from Port of Plenty
For fresh produce - Bob is the hydroponic farmer from Corinella Hydroponics with the incredibly fresh lettuces that are still in their hydroponic tiers when you buy them. You couldn’t get fresher. The cucumbers, tomatoes, capsicum and eggplant I bought were literally exploding with flavour when I bought them. And my giant fresh basil plant ($4 if you don’t mind) is still standing straight and tall in a little pot of water on my kitchen bench despite being the source of two nights of bruschetta. Once my family has eaten it down I will cut it back and plant it in my veggie patch and see what happens.
Bob the hydroponic farmer from Corinella Hydroponics (left and top right). Gail, a local resident (botton right) said "Fitzroy has needed this for a long time".
Go and see Diego from Wild Hen Farm who sells a variety of different types of eggs. The eggs come from hens that are pasture-raised in open fields. There are organic and soy-free options too. Talk to Diego about what they have to offer.
Diego from Wild Hen Farm
Dennis from 80 Acre Farm sells a variety of cuts of grass-fed beef, delicious beef from happy, healthy cows. He’ll chat to you about the cut and how to cook it. He also sells preservative-free sausages and marinated skewers. Dinner - sorted!
Dennis from 80 Acre Farm
Jemma from Earthlette Natural Remedies has created a chemical-free deodorant called Pit Paste. It is smooth between your fingers, easy to apply with a nice feel. I am always on the lookout for chemical-free personal products given my own issues with heavy metals, so I am excited about this product. She also sells an Anti-Chafe Balm which I have bought for my cyclist hubby.
Jemma from Earthlette Natural Remedies
For some special weekend treats I bought some chocolate from Sanela of Girl Made Chocolate. Oh. My. Goodness. NO WORDS! We also visited the Milawa Cheese stand and spoke to Ceridwen and tasted some amazing cheeses. Desi from Green Whisk was selling handmade, delicious almond breads, and Ben from Offaly Good Food had nutrient-dense pâté in three yummy flavours, all gluten and dairy free. Sally and Jo, the sisters and brains behind No Grainer had gluten free bread, scrolls, buns… Y U M M O. To finish off your visit go and see Sandy from Bruno Gelato Co.
Ceridwen from Milawa Cheese
The Offaly Good Food range
Ellie and Charlotte eating some Bruno Gelato - "Great vibe to shop and eat!"
One of my favourite purchases from my visit was from the Humble Homies stand. Adriana Weare has create a range of handmade granolas which are to-die-for-delicious. My favourite was the orange and wolfberry flavour. Go and taste the samples and you will see what I am talking about.
We chatted to the gorgeous Caroline from The Tea Caravan, a herbalist who makes her own tea blends that you can buy in refillable jars. At the end of our shop last weekend we finished off with a refreshing iced tea.
Caroline from The Tea Caravan
Ethical, eco-friendly florist Jane from Lilac and the Cat (can you spot her in the picture?) was also there, with a range of beautiful flower arrangements for sale. There was also the Canine Wellness Kitchen with treats for your pooch, not to mention live music and a laid-back vibe perfect for a Saturday wandering around talking to people and connecting. So much to see and do.
Jane from Lilac and the Cat
The stall holders will vary a bit from week to week, so go, visit, explore, experience, talk, buy and enjoy this wonderful new experience that gives you the opportunity to look after yourself with fresh real produce but also support your local community and local producers. A perfect Saturday morning. xx
Me, Aphrodite, and Kristy. : )