We chat to Madelienne Anderson and Rebecca Fox, co-curators of the Cambridge Markets, about their love of delicious food, their passion for supporting new businesses, and their tips for what to look for at this year’s market in Watsons Bay.
This spring, Cambridge Markets co-curators Madelienne and Rebecca are bringing Sydney’s best boutique market to one of Sydney’s most iconic and beautiful locations - Watsons Bay.
Having started off as a small local market in 2015 at Vaucluse Public School, Cambridge Markets is now one of the biggest mixed markets in the whole of Australia. Its reputation has grown with it, becoming a firm favourite thanks to its unusually high-quality offering of local, environmentally-friendly, and uniquely hand-crafted goods.
And this September, as part of the Cambridge Spring Markets, we’ll be able to enjoy it in a wonderful new location – down by the waterfront. This exciting move is sure to make it one of the most enjoyable market experiences yet – as well as the most accessible. Situated right by the ferry terminal, it’s the perfect location for tourists as well as local day trippers.
We hear from Madelienne and Rebecca about how we can make the most out of our visit.
Why do you love markets?
We love them because they’re a hive of activity. They bring people together. They’re friendly places where stallholders are passionate about their products they sell, and where you a get a personal, one-on-one service. Our markets are located under the trees, so not only can you shop, but you’re also outside enjoying the fresh air.
What makes a great market?
We think a great market is one that’s well-curated, catering for what the community needs. For example, with Rose Bay Farmers Market we try to provide stalls with products, produce and food that aren’t readily available in Rose Bay, like organic and gluten-free options, or home-made hot food that isn’t in Rose Bay already, for instance dumplings, gözleme and pho.
At Cambridge Markets in Watsons Bay, we make sure that all 120 stalls are different to one another, providing a variety of quality stalls and delicious international hot food stalls. We love it too that many of our stallholders are the owners or creators; We love their passion behind it, and we love supporting small and new businesses.
Have you noticed any trends in the market stalls?
Yes, we think there are more and more small, online and new businesses finding that markets are a place to sell their wares, and to also promote themselves. Markets used to be thought of as either junkie or hippie or second-hand, but now they’ve evolved to professionally-run events with a range of different quality products. They’re a great point of sale opportunity, a way to connect to customers, and overall an amazing tool in helping to establish businesses.
They’re also happy places that cross over all ages and socio-economic groups. The quality of the stalls today are outstanding and the food you can get from these passionate stallholders is simply scrumptious. We love the food businesses that are started by the matriarch of the family and run as family businesses. A perfect example of this is Eat Fuh, started by Mama Fuh, a refugee from Vietnam. Now her whole family is involved, and it is a very successful market stall business - in fact, she has such a following that people go specifically to markets to find her beef pho soup.
What should we look out for at the Spring Markets?
We have 120 great stalls, with the most amazing array of products, produce and food. For instance there’s Coco Ribbon offering divine childrenswear; Kata Official selling their stunning crystals; For Artists Only offering cool labels; Feisty Little Mouse kids clothing, toys and accessories; Black Star Pastry, The Mill from Bowral’s glamping tent with Carousel clothing and Surface Store photography.
On top of that, you have all your favourite types of international hot food, like tacos and paella from Watsons Bay Hotel, dumplings and ramen from Rocco’s Ramen, Kingsmore Hamburgers, Hooked on Pokè, Sisters Gözleme, and many more.
Can’t wait to visit?
The first market will be held from 10am-3pm on Sunday 17th September. Simply head down to Robertson Park, right on the Watsons Bay waterfront.
On the day, you can enjoy gourmet food, fun rides, or simply browse the work of some of Sydney’s most talented local designers, artists and creators.
Dozens of new stallholders will be announced each week.
To find out more, or keep an eye on future market dates, visit www.cambridgemarkets.com.au.