Today the market boasts 130 stalls that all thrive in the panoramic park-like setting on the eastern border of George. Owners Deon and Kobie Mocke together with the entire OFM team, are marking this milestone with special fifth birthday celebrations this coming Saturday 19 November. All stalls will give a 25% discount on at least one product to say thank you for five years of support from regular customers and visitors.
This week Deon reflected on how well his dream to create a platform for budding entrepreneurs to grow and expand their businesses has materialized. His passion for creating a social gathering place, a so-called heart for George, where people socialise, has become a reality. His goal to create a vibrant business entity that stimulates the economy of George, has also taken shape.
"Our third goal was to establish a tourism attraction, and this I can now confirm has also happened. The market received 156 000 vehicles during 2015. In addition to this, we received international recognition which came from Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor awarded the market a 2016 Certificate of Excellence placing us among the top five attractions out of 36 top places to visit in George and it's surroundings. In our five years of existence, we created a pleasant ambiance which has earned us many favourable comments from tourists from all over the world."
In 2016 Mocke gave local charitable institutions 26 opportunities (they devoted 26 Saturdays) to market themselves. "Worthy organizations including the WP Blood Services, Cansa, Foot and Mouth Artists, SPCA, Emmaus, the Alzheimers organization, Red Cross and FAMSA, to mention a few, were each given a turn to have a free stall where they could market themselves. This is our way of showing our commitment to giving back to the community.
Deon said it was decided to change the name from Outeniqua Farmers' Market to Outeniqua Family Market as this gives a more accurate reflection of what the market has become - a sociable gathering place for families. "In addition to this, the market is still focused on fresh veggies and fruit, but we also concentrate on offering food of the highest quality. We are going to roll out a fantastic play park for families (young and old) in the next month in order to provide an added attraction at the market."