Sunday mornings at Takapuna market are something of a ritual for Auckland’s North Shore residents. They come for fresh fruit and veggies and a chance to chat with the folk who were up early to pick them. Early arrivals wander leisurely around with takeaway coffee and bunches of flowers. They buy cupcakes for the kids and stop frequently to sample olive oils, spices and preserves.
I recognise some of the stall holders; they return to the same spot every week. People like Svetla who happily gives away samples of the natural sourdough bread her family bakes or the wrinked Chinese man who carefully places his bunches of bok choy, broccoli and water spinach on a sheet of paper on the ground oblivious of the other veggie sellers with their crates and tables and blaring music.
The market in Takapuna is as good as any other farmer’s market for its variety but it has something that other farmer’s markets don’t have. It’s original name was the Takapuna Flea Market and it’s still worth a rummage to see if there’s a treasure to be found. Secondhand books, crystal and mismatched china, ‘designer’ sunglasses line up alongside pot plants and jewellery and clothing. Wristwatch batteries are replaced with a flick of the wrist and for the kids there bags of lollies and the thrill of rummaging for $2-shop nicknacks and beaded bracelets.
The market is set up and ready for customers by 6am and regulars know that arriving early means avoiding the dog walkers, buggy pushers and queues for BBQ pork buns, mussel fritters, and donuts. There’s always a busker or two and plenty of heckling, especially as the clock nudges 12pm when there’s a sudden clamour of voices competing to sell the last of the perishables. By 12.30pm vans are packed, stalls dismantled and everyone’s gone home happy.
Categories: New Zealand