Sweetree's History with The Waikato Farmers Markets
Wow, its hard to believe Sweetree Honey has been a stallholder at the Hamilton Farmers Market for 14 years! It was in the WinTech carpark back then. We were also regular attendees of the the Cambridge market when it started around that time though, it wasn't part of the Farmers Market at that point but it soon came under the Waikato Farmers Market umbrella. We did the Hamilton Farmers Market every Sunday and Cambridge Farmers Market fortnightly, for quite some time.
Unfortunately any early photos we may have are either on a negative or old digital camera somewhere. Thank goodness technology makes finding photos a lot easier these days! Here's the earliest photo I could find at the WinTech carpark. It was a heaving and thriving market.
The Hamilton Farmers Market then moved to the Sonning carpark on River Road carpark for a few years where it continued to thrive, then for a short time to the TeRapa Racecourse before moving to its current home in the Barn at Claudelands Events Centre. We're very lucky to now have an indoor venue, what a treat!
We've had a lot of fun being part of the Farmers Markets, we've made some great friends in stallholders and customers. We had first contact with some of our land owners of our apiary sites and stockists through the Farmer Markets . We've had a few gazebos fly up and break in the wind, and enjoyed all sorts of weather. Stephanie had a stint on the Farmers Market trust about 10 years ago and Martin is currently the chairman.
We've worked so hard to build our little family business that a few years ago we had to rethink our priorities. When we first started our boys were four and two years old, Stephanie worked from home and Martin has always had a full-time job on top of Sweetree honey. It became too much with beekeeping and markets in the weekends (including Hamilton, Cambridge, Tamahere, Auckland & Gordonton markets and shows and expos). We needed to carve out more family time so we now only focus on the Hamilton Farmers Market on the 1st & 3rd week of each month. Life's still busy, Martin still working full-time on our main income and Stephanie has a 30 hour a week job as well as running Sweetree and taking care of the family (who are getting closer to adulthood).
The thing that we love the most and the thing that keeps bringing us back is our customers. We love to catch up with our regulars and have a little chin wag, or introduce new customers to our honey, and we have had some lovely comments over the years such as; "this is the best honey I've ever had" or "this reminds of honey when I was kid" or "I love that I can buy honey from a location that brings back good memories for me". Thanks so much to all our customers for supporting us all these years!
See you at the Hamilton Farmers Market this Sunday!