On your market, get set Hazel Food Market in Pretoria
The gourmands and late snoozers of the Jacaranda City always set off (eventually) for the Hazel Food Market, where you can expect to find all things delicious from across the globe.
After a crazy week (or wild Friday night), sometimes a suburbanite just needs a little lie-in, is the story any resident of Pretoria will tell you. So why on earth would you want to visit the renowned Boeremark (which we profiled in Platteland #2) at the crack of dawn if a trip later in the day would work just as well?
Just don’t make the mistake of assuming the Hazel Food Market to be a second or consolation prize for those who need an extra dose of duvet time. This market, started by Retha van Hoven on 24 January 2009 with only 18 stalls, was inspired by the European markets she fell in love with when she worked for French car manufacturer Peugeot.
“I often had to travel to France for work and found that every neighbourhood had its own little food market where people from the surrounding area could buy fresh products and baked goods directly from the producers. I’m talking about authentic foods, made properly from the best ingredients, which is why so many Europeans do their weekly shopping at markets like this. Unlike us, they don’t run down to the supermarket for every item they need,” she says.
“I also hoped the market would resonate with the staff of the many embassies in Pretoria. But, eight years later, it’s not only them who support us but also many local residents who come here to buy their meat, fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs, bread and other goods they need for the weekend or week ahead.”
When Platteland visited, the tables and benches under the shade trees were packed and buzzing, but there was plenty of room for meandering and tasting at the 70 or more stalls. And the food! If you don’t want to try the famous Zaksaties, vetkoek, koeksisters, boerewors rolls or biltong from radio personality Izak du Plessis, there are treats from Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, India, Lebanon, Thailand, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, Korea, Indonesa, the US, Italy…
We just wish someone had warned us not to eat breakfast before we went. • The market is open every Saturday from 08:00 to 14:00 and can be found next to the Greenlyn Village Centre at the corner of Thomas Edison and Mackenzie streets, Menlo Park.
The Hazel Food Market offers loads of shaded seating where you can tuck into delicacies from all four corners of the world.
INSET Retha van Hoven, who started this market in 2009.