Nothing Beats our Local Market for Colour and Friendliness
We love being part of the Nelson Market community — somehow local markets and honey just seem to belong together. Even if our little stall has been somewhat quieter over the last couple of years, we still enjoy being part of such a vibrant scene.
With over 15 years as market stallholders, we really get a buzz from the friendly bustling atmosphere — even if it does mean getting up at the crack of dawn or setting up in the rain!
These days we are very fortunate that Nicky’s dad, Larry, has taken on the stall on a regular basis, sharing week about with Murray. Arriving around 6.20 am, Larry has become one of the local characters.
Larry reckons it takes him nearly an hour to set up the gazebo and unpack our range of New Zealand honey. That’s mostly thanks to the constant stream of banter and good-natured ribbing between the surrounding stallholders.
The Nelson stallholders all bring their own personalities to the markets, making it a wonderful experience for shoppers. From handcrafted candles to delicious cheese or knitted hats, the market is stocked full of quality goods. We love taking the opportunity to tell people all about our honey — they are often surprised to find that we live just down the road.
Our regular customers tend to be early birds, arriving during the first hour. Many like to collect their honey every week and some buy quite large quantities, around a kilogram every Saturday.
If you use honey in drinks and for cooking, as well as spreading it on your toast, you can go through quite a lot. One customer confessed to Larry recently that she thinks she might be addicted to our honey because she buys so much!
Our customers are just as varied as the stallholders. Many of the older folk love a chat and some have owned a hive or two or their own, back when they were “hippies”.
While many of the younger customers can be very switched on about what they are buying, and determined to make informed, ethical choices, we do get some funny questions too.
Larry says he has to resist a chuckle whenever he gets asked where the ‘bee farm’ is — he’s always tempted to tell them he has been up early ‘milking the bees’ — and he finds it very amusing when people ask if we sell bumblebee honey.
Funny questions and rich conversations are all part of the joy of having a market stall. We’ve discovered that there’s something about honey that gets people really excited.
Larry has become a bit of an expert on everything to do with honey these days. Whether you want to know about the science behind the health properties, great cooking tips or uses for beeswax, he’s always happy to have a chat — even on a chilly winter morning. His favourite honey is Kāmahi by the way, but he keeps a selection in the pantry for cooking different types of dishes.
Usually, we get to meet people from all around the world on market day, and we very much look forward to seeing our international visitors again when Covid restrictions ease.
Many visitors to Nelson enjoy experiencing local products while they’re travelling. Then, when they get home, they order our honey online as a lovely reminder of the time spent in our beautiful region. It’s always very cool for us to think that our honey is being enjoyed on toast somewhere else in New Zealand, or on the other side of the world.
We love our little market stall, come rain or come shine. There’s no denying that Covid has hit the Nelson Markets very hard over the last couple of years — and the pouring rain we’ve had this month hasn’t been much fun either.
But we always say it’s the little things that count, like the loyalty of our regular customers and the friendly smiles of our fellow stallholders. We are absolutely looking forward to things getting busier when the borders open again. For now we’ll just have to be patient, and happy to be part of such a friendly local community.