Not many local businesses can claim a legacy of supporting ‘buy-local’ for 42 years. In this regard the Nelson Market is in rarefied air. Since 1978 it has promoted its’ artisans to thousands of visitors who flock there each year. The Nelson Market has also played an integral role in supporting family livelihoods and enabling people to enjoy the freedom and satisfaction of creatively earning a living.
“The success of the Market rests on a long-time collaboration with stall holders” says Nelson Market owner, Nita Knight. Stall holders work year-round to produce the high quality presentation you see on a Saturday. The Nelson Market provides a unique, curated environment in which visitors can enjoy these works.
“We share tremendous satisfaction in the high-quality of local artisan wares and produce. The diverse range of unique products is a huge drawcard and I hear visitors from all over the world comment on this,” says Knight.
Market visitors, Nelsonians and the regional community have been ardent supporters, enjoying the benefits of buying organic, fresh and local and the chance to shop socially each Saturday morning. Now many of the homewares, gourmet and well-being products will be available online, as Knight reaches out to a global customer base through a new e-commerce platform.
“I knew we had to take the market online, the time is right. We started planning our e-commerce website earlier this year. When Covid struck we doubled down, foreseeing the immediate and future impact on the local economy. However running an online business is a completely different discipline, so we wanted to do this right.”
Nelson Market online reflects the essence of the local market but this is a dynamic and changing platform in its own right. Knight recognizes it takes hard work to generate online traffic and to expand The Nelson Market reputation beyond New Zealand. We plan to host competitions, stall holder profiles, news, recipes and updates to make this a vibrant virtual meeting place. The more often people return to the site, the more interaction and shopping.”
Many stall holders are regulars at the physical market but Nita is not limiting the online stalls. Any suitable business can apply for a virtual stall. “We want to be inclusive and make variety a feature of shopping at Nelson Market online,” she says.
“This is an exciting development that signals we are expanding business-as-usual’. I believe we need to futureproof as much as possible against any further business disruptions, in whatever form. We will continue to support the local economy by presenting an attractive destination that draws people to Nelson,” says proprietor Nita Knight.
In 2018 Nita Knight received a New Zealand Order of Merit citation for her contribution to the Nelson region and its businesses.