News | 24 April 2023
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Behind the stalls at the Harbourside Market

Every Sunday morning before the birds wake up and the sun rises, a community of food producers are already in full swing on Wellington’s waterfront. We're looking at their stories through Behind the Stalls, a campaign highlighting their colourful characters who help make the markets a unique place.

Image of bright fresh fruit and vegetables at the Harbourside Market on Wellington waterfront, with Te Papa in the background.

Check out our Behind the Stalls story collection below

Lei and Tom Hayes

If Harbourside Market has one fixture, Tulelei Hayes reckons she's it. Selling flowers grown in her expansive backyard and trading as Bloomin Days with her husband of 52 years, Lei knows how to bring the sunshine to the market.

Tommy Young

After 20 years of the same routine, you’d think Tommy Young would be bored of it. Instead, he walks around his Harbourside Market stall with a broad smile, sharing his expertise in garden produce with whoever wants to know.

Anna Campbell

Just as Goldilocks had a taste for the humble oat, so does Anna Campbell. In fact, she enjoys a good bowl of porridge so much that she had a bright idea of opening her business, The Oatery.

Shree and Balu

At the Harbourside Market, Shree Balasubramaniam and Balu Rajagopal are famous for their South-Indian masala dosa. The couple come from a long lineage of vegetarians and believe a meatless diet has many positives, most importantly it improves one’s good karma in life.

Sebastian and Lena

Kiwi country boy Sebastian Nebel and German-born Lena Donandt have combined the best of what their lands have to offer to come up with a banger of a business. The Carterton-based couple started BavariaNZ a few years back, creating handmade European-style sausages with top-quality Aotearoa meat.

Hassan El Kour

From Morocco, Hassan grew up as a nomad, living off the land. At age 11, he was learning to cook while working with a spice merchant in Casablanca. Now you will find Hassan catering events and serving up traditional Moroccan cuisine from his food truck around Wellington.

Tony and Queenie Jung

Since 2008, Tony and Queenie Jung have been getting up before the crack of dawn to have their truck packed and ready to go by 3 o’clock every Sunday morning. They leave their Levin property and travel south to Wellington, where they have been stallholders at the market for 12 years.

Hasan Alwarhani

Hasan Alwarhani is staying true to his Syrian roots and is bringing a taste of home to Wellington. Hasan says his mum’s a great cook and now he and his partner Flora are ensuring his ancestor’s cooking traditions live on, serving up Syrian-style pizza and manakesh.

Louis Sergeant

Are you a coffee person? Or maybe you’re more into fruity passionfruit, or fresh mint? No matter your tastes, Louis Sergeant has a macaron flavour for everyone. And spanning all the colours of the rainbow, it’s probably safe to say that Louis’ macarons would be hard to beat.

Rahul dev singh Minhas

When Rahul looks back on his life, he reflects on how he has spent it in two halves, one in Delhi and the other in New Zealand. The concept for his business, Chaiwalla, came from Rahul’s roots and not seeing the same level of authenticity in the products in New Zealand.

Benjamin Peni

Having a career in health and nutrition has been a 15-year-long dream for Ben. When he was thrown into lockdown with his five kids, he took the opportunity to focus on providing home-grown food for his family and making sure they were getting the right nutrition in their diet.

Spice Tree Family

Prashanth, Vasantha and their children Aishu and Yesh launched Spice Tree in August 2020 – a proud family business that manufactures freshly ground whole spice powders, spice mixes, seasonings, spice rubs and health mixes. They also make nutritionally rich flour using New Zealand grown wheat, grains, and pulses.

Check out the Behind the Stalls Youtube playlist.