Back where it all began! | 22 May
Photography courtesy by Andž
Where: The Station
When: 22 May | 9am-2pm
More Info: click here
If you’re new to these parts, let us take you on a little journey. From the forests of Nottingham in the UK to our humble beachside city of Newcastle, Lauren and Lewis have absolutely found their home here – growing from a twosome to a foursome as they welcomed two handsome sons in the past few years. Elijah and Isaiah are a staple feature of the markets, often seen sleeping on Lauren’s fluro vested chest or running around with face painted munching on market snacks.
Early in 2019, partners Lauren and Lewis had a glimmer of an idea. As with most entrepreneurial ideas, this one came from a place of wanting; wanting to spend their weekends perusing market stalls and chatting to locals, and they also wanted a one-stop-shop for all things handmade, eco, and sustainable in Newcastle. Plus, they wanted to spread a bit of planet love and encourage locals to look for eco options wherever they can.
Lauren was a market regular herself, selling homemade soy candles, bath salts, and goodies under the name Keiki & Hale. She had seen the amount of waste that can be generated from large-scale events, with plastic overflowing from bins at the end of the day in beautiful parklands, so it was important from the start that the team worked on reducing that waste.
Passionate about reducing the environmental impact in their home life, and in their existing small business, Lauren and Lewis could see a way to do things a little differently. And so, the idea for Homegrown was born – Newcastle and the Hunter’s first eco-focused handmade market.
At Homegrown Markets, sustainability is the key priority. You’ll find a smorgasbord of products that make living green easier – from beeswax wraps to bamboo keep cups to shampoo bars, as well as beautiful handmade goodies with an eco-focus. You also won’t find a plastic bag or throwaway cutlery anywhere to be seen!
Before COVID times, compost/food waste bins were a regular feature at the markets, as well as ‘mug washing stations’ where you could pick up a mug for your morning cuppa and then leave it in the washbasin when you finished. Food trucks are encouraged to use biodegradable and cardboard packaging where possible. Artists and makers also answer a series of questions on application, including where they source their materials and how they maintain their sustainable practices.
Lauren and Lewis are passionate about making shopping local accessible, with regular events (there’s a Homegrown Market pretty much every weekend), shopping at the markets can become as easy as nipping to your local shopping centre. The Homegrown community is like no other group of stallholders, many have become great pals and you really feel that family-like energy when you step into a Homegrown event.
Fun Homegrown Facts!
You can now visit Homegrown Markets at The Station, Speers Point Park, Bimbadgen Estate in the Hunter Valley, and Nelson Bay in Port Stephens. Loyal customers come from Sydney and further to visit their favourite markets. And Lewis proposed to Lauren at the second-ever Homegrown Market in July 2019!
Homegrown’s conditions of entry
To keep Homegrown Markets #covidsafe and to keep our community safe please adhere to the following
- maintain physical distance (1.5m) with others
- use hand sanitiser regularly
- stay home & get tested if you’re feeling unwell
- follow queue instructions & respect individual stallholder guidelines relating to touching products etc
- wear a face mask (encouraged but not compulsory)
Remember – if you’re not feeling well, please stay at home! Face masks are encouraged but not compulsory, regular hand sanitising is a must, and remember to respect social distancing rules for each stallholder. Hot tip: afternoons are quieter than the mornings at the markets if you would like to avoid some of the busyness!
Homegrown Markets is family-friendly, puppy-friendly, and the perfect day out. See you (at a safe distance!) on the weekend...