The Hobsonville Point Farmers Market (cnr Hastings Road and Buckley Avenue) is housed in a converted ex airforce supply shed (Shed No.5). There is plenty of parking nearby, and the joy of having an indoor market is evident in the last few weekends with the (welcomed) intermittent rain. Although the market is opened on both days of the weekend, I prefer to visit on Sunday when there are more stallholders, and the place hums with activity.
There is something about this market which just strikes all the right notes. The stallholders are so convivial and the place has a perceptible community vibe. It’s a good size; you can spend 15mins here and get everything you need, or you can make it a destination and meander for a while, stop for a bite and a coffee, and laze in the landscaped gardens.
The interior of the shed is lined with wooden counters, for stallholders to set up. There is also a corner for musicians and a kitchen area where chefs (such as Kevin Blakeman) and stallholders demonstrate recipes.
Alli from Gourmet Gannet (and Pease Pudding blog) sells delectable patisseries and pies on Sundays. I can vouch for the frangipane tarts, crisp apple tarts and brioche doughnuts. Lucky Muriwai locals can purchase these freshly baked on Saturdays from Alli’s cooking school.
Hermon Bagels sell bagels and also other baked goodies from their Glen Eden bakery. These very reasonably prices bagels (comes in pkts of 4, one pkt $4, 2 pkts $7 or 3 for $10) are better than supermarket, though E, my American friend says they still need to get the recipe right to get a perfectly crispy crust. Try the onion flakes (or ‘everything’ bagel), these are moreish.
I don’t like honey, and I especially dislike the musty smell of manuka honey but Earthbound Organic Honey could make a fan out of me, well… almost. The raw honey comes from Bethells Valley and is not pasteurised, which makes the taste somehow less cloyingly sweet and fresher. The owners of Earthbound, Karlene and Terry, are enthusiastic about their honey and are helpful in thoroughly engaging manner. They also make delicious honeygar (honeyed vinegar).
Their honey are so good, I was encouraged to bathe in it! Yup, that’s what the Hakanoa ginger beer man told me. The star product is the Hakanoa ginger syrup ($20 for a 500ml bottle), which is made from mostly organic ingredients, and has a surprise of raisins which gives it a mellow note. Ginger beer is available at $4 a bottle. I am very partial to ginger drinks mixed with some elderflower cordial, but the syrup can also be used for cooking and baking. And yes, he did have incredibly smooth skin!
Salash Delicatessan sells Serbian cured meats; salamis, prosciutto, sausages and seasonal air-dried meats. I don’t eat salami, but the culatello ham is especially luscious.
The Persian dips are freakishly good. The mirza ghashemi ($7, labelled as mirzaghasem eggplant) is the pick; the traditional roasted eggplant, tomato and egg dish is modernised with cashew pieces and coriander. The hummus with pumpkin and feta dip ($5) is also fantastic. The dips are made by an Iranian man who also sells them at the Howick Market. To go with the dips, they also sell fantastic pita bread ($2.50 pkt or 3 for $6.50).
The Organic Herb & Seedlings stall sells exactly that, plus organic fertiliser and lots of free advice about how to get the most out of the seedlings ($3 a punnet). There is a wide range to choose from, and I have seldom seen seedlings look this lush and healthy.
The gremolata (made with dill, lemon, parsley and pepper) hot smoked salmon from the Salmon Man is a favourite. Once you’ve tried this, it’s difficult to be satisfied with anything else.
There are two cheese stalls, green grocers, free-range meats from Harmony meat and Farm Gate Produce, breads from Pukeko Bakery and Loaf, and home baking. There is also gelato, coffee, Italian biscuits and hot food from a couple of trucks parked outside.
I am immensely envious of the residents of Hobsonville Point, a new upmarket subdivision about 30 minutes west of Auckland CBD. It is a sign of the times when two of the first amenities opened is a farmers market and a café. Talk about civilised living. And dogs are welcomed at the market (there is also a doggie deli stall selling treats for furry friends); though I think the temptations might be too great for Sam.
Hobsonville Point Farmers Market
Sat & Sun: 9am – 1pm