You know the markets with the vision of a costumer. Why not discover from the other side in South Africa?
On a sunny Saturday morning, we went to meet two traders in the famous market of The Old Biscuit Mill based in Cape Town. The first one, Eric, from France sells wonderful healthy yoghurts and the second one, Captonian, Michael, sells homemade refreshing local beer!
How did you start selling your products?
Eric: I started to sell yoghurt after going to New York where I discovered how Greek yoghurt was popular.
I tried it and was amazed by the taste and the different savoury toppings we can match it with. The healthy side was also something I wanted to develop because more and more clients are conscious of what they eat now. I did some investigation and then decided to create my own brand in South Africa!
Michael: I started a few years ago with my brother who makes the beer, it’s a family story.
Why do you sell them at markets?
Eric: The markets in Cape Town are quite popular and it’s the best way to try to launch and test a product.
Michael: We not only sell our beer on the markets, from now on we sell a lot of our beer Lion Heart in the restaurants and bars mostly in Cape Town. But we offer tasting, so promoting our beer at markets is still an easy way to woo clients and get feedback from them. Moreover I like the interaction with people.
Do you work with different markets? How do you choose these markets?
Eric: We are into two markets; we choose the most popular food market to reach the most people as possible. Now we are opening our two first shops in Cape Town and Hermanus.
Michael: We work with Hout Bay market situated at the beginning of the peninsula and we are also present at some big events like beer festivals which happen several times a year in the city.
What is the best word to describe the atmosphere in the South African markets?
Eric: They are very easy and offer a diverse and large scale of food. People can enjoy the good weather and walk outdoors. It’s also a tourism destination so people can enjoy and discover this warm place they don’t always have in their home country.
Michael: Popular is the best word, for both locals and tourists. The particularity is here, markets are not only a place where you pop in to buy fresh food, it’s really an experience. You come to spend time with your friends, with your family, to discover original products, to have a drink while listening to live jazzy music.
Why do you develop your business in South Africa ? Do you think there are more opportunities here than in another places?
Eric: I lived in this country for 6 years and opened my first business in 2010. Of course, this country offers a lot of opportunities. South Africa is like a new world and lot of things still need to be created.
Michael: We are developing our business only in Cape Town for the moment mostly because we are South African so it’s our direct market and because we think there are a lot of opportunities in Cape Town. It’s a beautiful city, with good vibes which attract a lot of people from all over the world throughout the entire year. We will try to develop it in Johannesburg and Durban but not abroad, we would like to keep a small and unique business to keep our image of a local product.
Any good addresses to recommend?
Eric: I would recommend all the food markets in Cape Town, I can’t choose a favorite one, they all have a great atmosphere and each deserves to be discovered! Cape Town is always moving up. A reflection of the markets, Cape Town is just an amazing city to live in and is always full of energy!
Michael: Every Thursday evening you can discover the City Bowl Market in the city center, a really nice food market with groups of music and an intimate atmosphere. I also recommend the same kind of market situated in Muizenberg every Friday night.
By Mélanie Chapellan
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