Marketplace’s Opening Night!
4 May 2017
Malak Marketplace opening night on Saturday was a HUGE success, as over 3000 people turned up to support Darwin’s newest and most innovative market on the scene.
The success of opening night was due in part to the NT Government’s investment. By supporting Malak Marketplace with grant funding of $20,000, the project team promoted the market through flyer distribution, banner advertising, TV, radio interviews, newspaper articles, listings in print media, website, social media page, newsletter Market Life and even the foodies’ festival, Territory Taste.
In its first year of operation, the Malak Marketplace made a significant difference to the community. More than just a night market, the Malak Marketplace activated a space and a community not always been recognised for its positive aspects.
The Malak Marketplace is unique in a city of markets as it has a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices, organic products and environmental sustainability. This year the market banned the use of plastic and allowed use of biodegradable packaging only. From its opening back in 2015, the market banned soft drinks in favour of more healthy, home-made beverages including organic ice tea, lemonade and tonics.
The Malak Marketplace management team, top clean eating food stalls and lifestyle/health stallholders are committed to educating the community about organic produce and products. This awareness was promoted at Territory Taste Festival, where Malak Marketplace not only exhibited, but hosted four sell-out clean eating masterclasses. Stallholders also held information and cookery workshops in the Wet season.
Malak Marketplace encourages the community and market-goers to educate themselves about the food they eat and methods used to grow, transport and prepare it. The market has produced specific signage and labels for all its farmers’ stalls to prompt people to get to know local farmers and growers and know what questions to ask of them.
Malak Marketplace partnered with Slow Food Top End and throughout the market season will host cooking classes. Both projects have shared values and visions of linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to community and environment.
Malak Marketplace’s management team of passionate volunteers have worked tirelessly to create high standards for the market. The team has carefully chosen the best, like-minded and local food, health/lifestyle and arts and craft stallholders to help support the market’s values and long term vision. This season, the Malak Marketplace welcomed eleven new local businesses and several businesses prefer to be exclusive to Malak Marketplace as it aligns with their values and vision of eating and using fresh, Territory-grown produce and organic ingredients wherever possible.
Malak Marketplace draws on its surrounding community to present a truly multi-cultural event. Many stalls feature unique multi-cultural fusion cuisine that uses local produce and organic products. The combination is truly award-winning and part of Malak Marketplace’s unique signature. It continues to celebrate cultural diversity every market night.
This year Malak Marketplace’s arts and crafts space, championed by grass-roots arts organisation, Darwin Community Arts provides local Territory artists with a unique area from which to showcase and sell their work.
Each market offers a huge choice of quality food, fresh farmers’ produce, health and lifestyle products, arts, crafts and live entertainment. There are plenty of tables and chairs for easy dining and easy relaxing. This year’s market evenings include a new happy hour (between 4-5pm special kids’ sized plates and prices), weekly yoga, new monthly market tours, cooking classes, a free area for community organizations and art exhibitions.
As part of its commitment to community education, Malak Marketplace is also promoting community educational events such as The Mad Food Science family event and a screening of That Sugar Film, both of which aim to encourage people to move to healthier, more nutritious diets.
Winner of Community Event of the Year 2016, the Malak Marketplace has established a reputation as a safe, sustainable, community event that celebrates diversity, promotes community involvement and social engagement.