Nearing its 40th anniversary, the Nelson Market is an integral part of the Nelson community, bringing crowds into the central city on Saturday mornings.
The market was launched by Nita Knight in the late 1970s. She was struck by the vibrancy of the region and the range of arts and crafts produced here. Held first in the Miller’s Acres Carpark, it quickly outgrew this space and was moved to Montgomery Square.
As the Nelson region has grown, the range of products available has dramatically increased. Alongside the likes of potters, woodworkers and fibre artists, there is now a substantial variety of food stuffs; chocolate and cheesemakers, fresh produce and nuts for example, along with an abundance of locally made clothing, jewellery and many crafts. Takeaway foods with local and international flavours are very popular thanks to the large range of food carts.
The Nelson Market has been a business incubator for many brands that have gone on to achieve both national, and in some cases, international success. Pic’s Peanut Butter, Anathoth Jams and Hogarth Chocolates are but a few of these.
It would be a rare visitor to Nelson who doesn’t know about the Nelson Market before they arrive. It is one of Nelson’s most popular attractions and draws thousands of visitors every Saturday.
Nita loves her stallholders and the vibrancy and unique flavour they bring to the city. “I feel very honoured to provide this unique environment where so many people’s creativity can be seen and where people can grow their businesses”, she says. “It provides a place in the heart of the city where locals and visitors can gather to enjoy each other’s company and purchase some of the very best the region has to offer”, she continues. “I am also delighted at the way it brings so many people into the inner city to benefit other Nelson city businesses too”.