By Tokologo Lekoma
If you were looking for a little treat last weekend, I hope you caught a glimpse of Fusion Speciality Food’s first “Farmer’s Market” on the 25th of February. If not, don’t fret about it. There’s still loads more in store for you.
Despite the gloomy weather, a relaxed atmosphere overshadowed that in every way possible. The owner, Denise, and her team kept that in mind, especially when they plan to continue every last Saturday of the month. Market-goers arrived to children running around without any worries and having a blast on a flamboyant jumping castle. People sat on patio benches sipping iced coffee, raving about their customer experience throughout the day.
I spoke to local students, Kyla Fairweather-Platt and Coleen Grobler, about how they heard about the Farmer’s Market. “I saw it posted on the Makhanda Facebook group, where they post different events happening this week,” Fairweather-Platt added, “Then my roommate reminded me because she posted it on our digs group.” To which Grobler explained that Fairweather-Platt asked her to come to join her. The only issue they had was the long drive to the property. However, the indoor-outdoor fluidity made up for the trek.
Marquees lined up around their designated area, waiting for people to take a peek at what was on offer. From donated books, home-grown pumpkins, and flowers to fishing hooks and baked goods. Local vendors like Ilze Curling, owner of “Yumm Delights”, were elated when asked about their products, and the immense support they received from customers. Curling said, “The idea is to come once a month to set my confectionary stand. If I can be here, I will.”
And perched right at the centre – the main event. There’s an unshakeable homely feeling about the Fusion shop, like a neighbourhood family reunion. Many intriguing faces appeared in and out of the shop, browsing for organic and freshly picked goods. Doggy moms cradled their “babies” in their arms while a hip old lady stood at the door with funky pink hair. Couples of all ages strolled by, looking at Fusion’s selection of delectable seafood and pizza bases.
At the back, a raucous occurs while two or three people queue in front of a counter. The smell of coffee is undeniably potent throughout the store. Anda, the barista, casually converses with customers, who seem to like his jokes and general hospitality. The long commute and work hours are not significant issues as long as he’s doing what he enjoys. “Long hours don’t appetise me, but making coffee appetises me,” Anda said.
Overall, the Farmer’s Market was successful, and the Fusion could not be happier. Make sure to put it on your calendar for every last Saturday of each month. You never know what unique gems you’ll come across.