One of the main reasons Aucklanders’ make the trip up to Matakana is to visit the famous Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. With it being only an hour (or less) drive up, it is a great activity to do on a Saturday. My parents moved up to Matakana last year, so every few weekends I have been checking out this foodie lover’s market.
You will find an array of foodie delights – there are many artisan producers selling their products, most of which are made locally in and around Matakana. These include:
- An abundance of colourful Fruits and Vegetables
- Homemade Nut Butters including peanut, almond, cashew and dark chocolate
- Homemade Baking and Pies
- Handcrafted Chocolates
- Crepes, Sausages, Whitebait Fritters and Mexican Food
- Cheeses like blue, brie, Camembert and feta
- Plus, locally brewed coffee and beer, olive oils, fine wines (hello feijoa!), beautiful flowers, live music, and of course, the dog sitting service which is seriously cute (you cannot bring your dogs into the market).
Tips for the market: Get there early (ideally 8am on the dot), bring enough cash (there is one ATM machine by the market but the line is always super long) and bring your own reusable carry bags.
For ease, I have listed my highlights of the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market below:
Swiss Bliss Handcrafted Chocolates
Swiss Bliss is my favourite stand at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market… no surprises there as they sell chocolate! Owners Edith and Pascal immigrated to New Zealand from Switzerland in 2000, and they established a chocolate company shortly after. All of their chocolate is handcrafted and made in Waitoki (40 minute drive from the market).
They make this one specialty that I particularly enjoy – ‘Molten Kisses’. These divine treats have a wafer base, are topped with the fluffiest marshmallow and then completely covered in dark chocolate. They have a few flavours to choose from – original, raspberry and salted caramel.
These are my absolute favourite sweet treat – I first discovered them many years ago at Chocolate Boutique in Auckland (unfortunately they are no longer selling them) and also a foodie highlight when I found them at a supermarket in Berlin. I have not seen these anywhere else in Auckland, so I always stock up on a few when I visit the market.
If you are not into marshmallow, they also make truffles, individual chocolates, chunky chocolate slabs, chocolate fish and chocolate cigars. Around Easter time, they also make the most amazing chocolate bunnies, rabbits and gifts to give to friends and family.
Side note: Swiss Bliss also have a shop in Waitoki which you can visit. More details here.
This is my second favourite stand – Ringawera. You may recognise the name as co-owner, Patrick Griffiths, originally ran Ringawera Bakery on Waiheke Island, where he lived for the past 18 years. The shop closed two years ago as Patrick was looking for a new challenge, and thus, early 2018, he opened Ringawera Cafe in Matakana – next to Morris and James art gallery.
In October last year, Patrick started selling his freshly baked breads at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. Look out for the rows and rows of pastries, croissants, beautiful breads, and baskets of baguettes as you enter the market – they are the first stall on the left. It is definitely the most well-presented stand in my opinion! His ciabatta and sourdough are my favourite breads to purchase at the market.
Side note: Patrick has also opened Ringawera Bakery on Matakana Valley Road, just above the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market All of his breads are baked onsite, from scratch and use quality ingredients. The smell is heavenly when you walk into his shop. You will find all of their freshly baked breads – sourdough, ciabatta (try the mini rolls!), foccacia and mixed grain loaves, plus piping hot Ozone Coffee, pastries, croissants, brioche and generously filled sandwiches to go. They also make some of the best hot cross buns!
Matakana Nut Butters
At the Matakana Nut Butters stand, you will find the most delicious nut butters, all made nearby in Whangapiro Valley. Owner, Josie, is at the market every Saturday, and is super friendly and welcoming. It is one of the main reasons why we keep coming back to buy her peanut butter (after the taste of course).
The best thing about Josie’s nut butters is that they are 100% nuts with nothing else added except sea salt, Manuka honey or dark chocolate. So far, we have been loving her smooth and crunchy peanut butters, but also recently bought their almond butter, which I used in a recent recipe here on the blog… Choc-Almond Slice. Yum!
Matakana Coffee Roasters
Head to ‘The Love Shack’ aka Matakana Coffee Roasters to get your coffee fix upon entering the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market! This is a local business who have been operating for over 15 years, and their coffee is delicious. They also make many coffees for the stallholders which is super cool! Their coffee is also available for purchase (love their plunger), and you can also buy it at selected New World supermarkets.
Manāki Whitebait Fritters
Manāki (meaning to look after, care for, show respect or kindness to in Maori) are the world’s first sustainable producer of fresh New Zealand whitebait. I have only tried whitebait once – at Soul Bar & Bistro a few years ago, so was very excited to check out Manāki Whitebait’s fritter stand at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market a few weekends’ ago.
We arrived just before 8am, so were the first in line – YAY! The whitebait fritter itself was dreamy – it is a whisked mix of eggs, whitebait and salt and pepper, served on a slice of Ringawera bread, with a squeeze of lemon. Simple, yet delicious.
I recommend making this your first stop at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, because upon receiving my whitebait fritter, there were already about 20 people waiting! I spoke to a man from Orewa who drives to the market every Saturday, so he and his wife can have a whitebait fritter for breakfast – sounds like a great idea! Highly recommend.
Dutch Touch Produce
Head to this stand for the beautiful and abundant vegetables – namely the capsicums, which are usually 3 for $5 – these are WAY larger than the supermarket ones and you know EXACTLY where they are grown. Also love their bright orange mandarins!
Another beautiful stand, selling only one thing – ROSES. Beautiful roses in all different colours. These sell out fast, so head there second (after the Manāki Whitebait’s fritter stand) to pick up a few bunches – perfect for the home or as gifts for friends.
Bon Appétit Crêperie
French crepes made by Brazilians. They use local produce, free range and organic ingredients. I have only tried one crepe so far (planning to try them all!) being the ‘Super Foodie’ It is a buckwheat, potato, corn and flaxseed crepe, filled with banana, maple syrup, walnuts and seasonal fruit salad. It is gluten and dairy free and SO good! They also serve a range of sweet and savoury crepes, from the classic lemon and sugar to banana, chocolate and cream! YUM.
I Love Pies
You may already know about the brand I Love Food Co. – they make the yummy I Love Pies and sausage rolls, plus the I Love Baking Cookies. Check out my Lemon Meringue Pie here which uses their gluten free pastry!
All of their pies and sausage rolls are made with their homemade light and delicate sour cream pastry, which uses sour cream and New Zealand butter – no palm oil in sight! My all time favourite pie is their Free Range Butter Chicken, with their Spiced Chickpea & Spinach (a new vegan pie) coming in at a close second!
As well as selling their pies across the country, they also have a permanent stall at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, where you can buy their pies and sausage rolls.
The Farmer’s Daughter
Located just before Omaha, this cafe serves delicious coffee and Jewish baked goods. Last year, they also started a stall at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, where they sell their homemade breads, rugelach (Jewish pastries), almond croissants and other goodies. I am a huge fan of their cinnamon buns, almond croissants and rugelach – perfect with your morning coffee at the market!
Matakana Dog Minding
Technically not a food stand, but definitely one of the highlights at Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. You cannot bring your dogs into the market, however, for a gold coin donation, you can leave them outside the market at the doggy day care. So, while you are shopping at the market, your beloved dog will be getting love and attention!
If you currently don’t have a dog (like me), you are still welcome to pat the dogs while you are there. Bonus!
Hope you enjoyed my post – stay tuned for more Matakana posts coming soon! x