Sunday mornings at Harbourside Market
A world of local treats at Wellington’s favourite waterfront market
Standing behind her food stall at Wellington’s most popular food market, the Harbourside Markets, Jennifer Yu hands a plate of steaming dumplings to a customer.
For the past 18 years, Jennifer has spent every Sunday at Wellington’s open-air food and produce market, serving up her legendary dumplings and dim sims to market-goers.
Sebastian says the market is a great option for artisan producers like him. He doesn’t sell his wares in stores or supermarkets, so his stall is like a showcase for his artisan smallgoods.
The market reminds him of European produce markets back in his home village near Munich, in Germany: everything is fresh and as local as possible.
Sebastian was trained to become a butcher at a family-owned butchery near Munich, and he brought those recipes to Wellington, including a 300-year-old recipe book.
Meat eaters make a beeline for his stall, where he sells Bavarian goods like a meatloaf called leberkäse, and fennel, pork, cheese, chilli and curry sausages made in traditional southeast German style. "Wellington is a foodie destination and Wellingtonians are always keen to try new products, so it works fantastically for us. You get all sorts of people from all walks of life coming past and chatting to us and trying our products."
Sebastian says the stallholders are all friendly, too, and he likes the experience of also being a customer. He’ll often get a chicken roti wrap from Roshan and Jesmin at Roti Bay, sit on a bank and gobble it in the sunshine. "It’s bliss, you can’t beat it," he smiles.
Between 15,000 and 25,000 people visit the market every Sunday.
Fraser Ebbett, Harbourside Market Manager
In another part of the market, fruit and vegetables dazzle with rainbow colours, sold by about a dozen greengrocers who bring their products to the market by truck every Sunday. Many punters stock up their fridges and vege trays for the week, often heading to their favourite stall.
The Lim family grow a wide variety of seasonal vegetables at their family farm in Levin and have been selling at the market since the early days. Out of his truck, John Lim sells everything from cauliflowers, cabbages, lettuce, broccoli and spinach to a wide variety of Asian vegetables. He also supplies tropical fruits to those looking for something a bit different in their fruit bowl.
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