Public markets are a great and underhyped benefit of living on the Sunshine Coast. We have a wonderful array of farmers and artisan markets happening all the time across the coast, offering a variety of experiences, entertainment and enjoyment. Whether you prefer a farmers market that offers artisan baked goods, locally grown produce and delicious local meats or an artisan markets with uniquely made goods like clothes, accessories, home decor and kitchenwares (or, if you’re super lucky, you can fit both in one day!), there’s something for you on the Sunshine Coast. And if you’re going to make the effort to get up in time and spend the day in the sun, you want to get the most out of it.
As frequent market-goers, with our sister company Voodoo Bacon, we’ve had heaps of practice with markets. With all of our experience, we wanted to share a few of our favourite tips to have the best fun and get the most out of your favourite markets.
First and most importantly is to know your market schedule. You have to decide what kind of markets you like to attend: do you like the early morning markets, to watch the sun reach its height just in time for lunch? Or do you prefer to watch the sun dip low before heading home? Are you hoping to sit somewhere and eat some delicious food, or are you more excited to get home and make something with the fresh produce you just made? Do you want some live entertainment, and do you prefer the sounds of people, birds and the ocean waves? How far do you want to travel? Once you know what kind of markets you like to attend, go out and find them! You can find heaps of information on your local community pages, Facebook search and websites like visitsunshinecoast.com.
Once you’ve settled on a few market you’d love to attend, mark it on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone and let your friends and family know. With a prepared schedule, you can ensure you have the free time to truly enjoy the day and you can start the day with everything you need. Speaking of things you need, read more below:Budget
It is easy to get carried away by all of the amazing things on offer, so ensuring you have been honest with yourself about a budget that works for you and stick to it is one way to enjoy the farmers market while you’re there and afterwards, too. Remember, you don’t have to buy everything you love at the markets. Though vendors love your support, they understand everyone is at a different stages in life. You can also get the vendors seller information and contact them when you can afford to purchase your desired items. Otherwise, if you do have a bit to spend, ensure you allocate a specific amount and stick to it as closely as possible. Some ways you can do this include moving the money to an account for a specific card, getting cash out or setting a limit on your card. This is a great way to support local artisans without breaking the bank or disadvantaging other important areas of your life.
Consider how you’ll transport all your goodies. Two hands are better than one, but a few reusable tote bags, a basket or a trolley is ideal. When you remember to bring your reusable bags and containers, you can keep your hands free to hold a cup of coffee, hand over cash or hold hands with your loved ones. It also helps to reduce litter, waste and your carbon footprint, and makes you feel good! If you’re buying loose items including nuts, fruits or vegetables, baked goods etc. you can bring containers to safely store them and prevent mixing, squashing or damage.
You may have your heart set on some produce or item you want to buy and it can be pretty disappointing when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Some vendors come and go and some seasons create more or less produce depending on the weather, conditions and interest. Shopping at farmers markets means you're in sync with the seasons. Embrace it! Let go of expectations and go with the flow. Engage with vendors to ask what they think for swaps, suggestions and the best of. Take advantage and buy what's in season, as it's not only fresher but often cheaper and more nutritious, too. The markets are supposed to be an experience, so let it be one!
Share the Love
Lastly, follow up! If you see something you love, love it up! Check them out on Instagram, Facebook and follow them. Drop likes on your fav posts and give them a review on Google or their website if they have one. If you have some feedback or you want to sing their praises, do that, too! Either shoot them an email, a message or give them a call. Vendors love knowing the difference they’re making to their community.
Doing these fives things ensure you get the MOST out of our amazing farmers and artisan markets. The markets can be a fantastic and enriching experience that benefits you during and after by following these five tips. Ensure you’re prepared, you’ve set a clear budget, you bring bags to store all your new goodies, be open to anything and share the love.
See you at our next market visit!