“On a Friday on Twitter and Facebook, they are tweeting at each other ‘can you put away two packs of bacon for me’,” she told AFP.
In one of the world’s most economically unequal societies, the markets draw more well-off shoppers with offerings of oysters to French crepes.
“You can walk around and pick out what you want. There’s just so much variety and a lot of what’s available here is not necessarily available in the mall,” said Lerato Kotelo, 23, a regular at the Neighbourgoods Market.
But without the formal industry’s high overheads, the markets serve as launch pads for small producers who can directly interact with customers.
“We were totally blown away by the response that Cape Town gave us,” said Munro whose market has sparked a knock-on of galleries, delis and vintage shops in its gritty location.
CAPE TOWN: The crush of people inches past the tables of slow-brewed coffee, truffle flavoured charcuterie, and homemade ice-cream rippled with fennel pollen and peach swirls.
The former Cape Town biscuit factory, reworked into a shabby-chic urban setting, is just one of the gourmet markets that have popped up in South Africa for foodies seeking handcrafted goods over mass-produced products.
“This was a nice opportunity to educate people about supporting local producers and also the beauty of interacting directly with the producer.”
South Africa’s passion for fast food and shopping malls still dwarves the trend toward Finnish-rye bread or slow-fermented beer with orange peel and coriander, despite a push by big retailers toward organic foods.
But it’s become an important trend within South Africa’s $34.8 billion food and drinks-making industry. Local analysis company Flux Trend named the artisanal eater as one of its top 10 trends for 2012.