Clean living is the name of the game at the recently launched weekly Amanzi Fresh Food Market. Held every Friday in the stunning gardens of Amanzi restaurant on Enterprise Road, the market runs from ten in the morning till two. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, there are around twenty stalls providing high quality and mostly locally produced goods.
In a brief conversation with Andrew Mama, the owner of Amanzi and the driving force behind the market, he indicated his desire to strengthen Amanzi’s reputation as an establishment that prides itself on freshness and excellence by gathering together the best Harare has to offer in culinary delights. Since its inception in early July, the market has been an opportunity for top local producers to showcase their goods tying in with Amanzi’s focus on high quality service.
The market is not a profit driven activity for Amanzi. Rather, it has a strong community slant with half of table fees going to the next door ZNSPCA. Jonathan Baker, a manager at Amanzi, says there are plans to arrange a shuttle from Dandaro to Amanzi to further involve the community and allow those people without access to vehicles to make regular visits to the market.
Many of the items available at the market are not sold in supermarkets and exploring the various stalls exposes customers to a great variety of goods. From Peter Piper’s range of excellent preserves, as well as his cheese and fresh baked goods, to the homemade labneh (strained yoghurt cheese) and quail eggs sold on the other end of the market, the quality of the produce on offer is excellent and worth investigation.
Other stalls offer a wide range of delicious produce including nuts, cold meats, meringues, fudge, fresh vegetables grown just out of town, cakes and fresh baked bread. Where possible the items are locally sourced or grown by the stallholders themselves and they know their products extremely well.
Stallholders are focused on providing food and not crafts or other wares. Rather than trying to squeeze in as many stalls as possible the organisers have endeavoured to provide only the best quality items by selecting and inviting those producers they felt made the best version of their particular product.
Many sellers also have stalls at UpMarket on Maasdorp Avenue in Belgravia. Although not set up to be direct competition to UpMarket, with its excellent location and setting the new Amanzi market is sure to draw customers away from UpMarket and attract many Harare residents new to the market scene. At present though, Wednesday’s UpMarket still draws the bigger crowds.
Both stallholders and organisers are positive about the market’s future. Although not as established as UpMarket, the number of customers is increasing. With summer almost here and the word getting out, this new venue on Harare’s market scene is sure to draw a strong gathering in the coming months.