Archive for November, 2012

Earth Fair Markets

Jacqui Simpson loves markets and her love is starting to spread throughout Cape Town.  She founded the Earth Fair Market in Tokai after been inspired by a desire to create

Jacqui Simpson

Jacqui Simpson

’moments of magic’ and a realisation that consumers wanted to form direct relationships with the people they were buying from. Consumers are increasingly disturbed by the use of hormones, preservatives and unethical farming practices and organic markets are at least a partial solution to people looking to buy more wholesome food and buy from as close to the source as possible.

The Tokai Saturday market proved such a success that they started operating on Wednesdays as well and in February 2011 Earth Fair launched its second market in upper St George’s Mall. The Tokai Market is open every Wednesday from 3-8:30pm and Saturdays from 9-2pm.

The market offers a range of delicious produce from speciality sausages and homemade pies to farm cheeses, bacon from free range pigs, fruit and vegetables and biltong to name just a few yummy products. The market also serves as a meeting place for all sorts of town dwellers; from journos to businessmen and tourists both local and foreign. In fact the market is proving so popular it has already become an institution, bringing many a faithful follower into town specifically for its wares. Based both indoors and out it can cope with all weather and the good vibes and fantastic smells have made a significant impact in this part of town.

Jacqui’s previous work experience includes managing the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and starting her own business, OmniVision, a qualitative research company specializing in on- camera research.

She is now focussed on fresh food markets to the benefit of local foodies who are flocking to these markets in droves. “Many cities have iconic, fresh-food markets – Borough Market in London, the Dublin Food Coop Organic Food Market and the Marché de Pont de l’Alma in Paris – now its Cape Town’s turn,” says Jacqui.



“In many ways it’s a return to our roots. The Company Gardens originally provided fresh fruit and vegetables to passing ships and Greenmarket Square was somewhere where farmers could sell their produce. That’s why upper St George’s Mall in the historic heart of Cape Town is the ideal location.”

The open air market trades every Thursday, from 11am to 3pm. If it rains, the market
moves indoors to the Mandela Rhodes Building (entrance off St George’s Mall).


Q & A with Jacqui Simpson…

Best coffee in Cape Town
Deluxe Coffee shop in Church Street – love the vibe, love the coffee. I rush there every Thurs and grab a takeaway flat white before we start setting up the market!

Favourite watering hole
Wafu (Mouille Point)

Favourite restaurant
Societi Bistro in Gardens (great food, well priced, well trained waiters and passionate chef) and El Burro in Greenpoint

What do you like most about markets?
I love the fact that markets represent an ancient way of shopping. They support small businesses and true artisans. They are about slow food and not fast food. The food does not have preservatives, hormones, chemicals and other unhealthy additives. It is made on a small scale (no mass production) and it is made with LOVE and passion. I love the fact that markets have become a community meeting point where people from all walks of life gather and can feel like they are a part of something. I love the fact that the traders and the customers have developed such bonds of friendship and trust. I love the reconnection with food, the freshness, the absence of over packaging… I love so much about markets!

The next big thing
In my opinion, food is the next big thing. Small shops opening up which are not linked to the big chains. Small chocolatiers, free range specialist butcheries etc etc.

Biggest indulgence?
Method Cap Classic

Favourite gadget?

Best blog / website?