One of Sydney's original farmers markets is closing down

The SMH Growers’ Market. Source: Facebook

The monthly Sydney Morning Herald Growers Market will close in April after 18 years.

Fairfax Media wrote to stallholders yesterday announcing that just two markets remain before the curtain comes down on the popular Saturday morning gathering in Pyrmont opposite The Star casino.

The penultimate March 5 market is the first for 2016 after a calendar clash with the Lunar Markets in February. The final market is in April.

“With so many successful growers markets springing up across the city, we feel the time has come to pass on the baton over to the new breed and for that reason, April’s The Sydney Morning Herald Growers’ Market will be the last,” the letter to stallholders says.

“We are working towards ensuring these two events are a fitting celebration of what has been an incredible 18 years.”

Fairfax originally launched the market as an extension of its Tuesday food section, Good Living (now rebranded Good Food), and it subsequently became a core part of the company’s Fairfax Events division. But as the business undergoes continual restructuring with the media brands shifting from print to digital, it’s likely the ROI on organising 11 monthly markets annually has diminished, despite the continued popularity of the 4-hour event.

Since it began as one of the original markets for farmers and other gourmet food producers, a range of competitors, including the weekly Eveleigh market, have sprung up. However, the appeal for many of the producers travelling to Sydney for the Pyrmont market was that it was only a monthly commitment, although as an outdoors event, it was also susceptible to weather.

Michael Shafran of Brooklyn Boy Bagels, who’s been a stallholder at Pyrmont for around two years, says he was surprised by news of the closure.

“It’s such an extremely strong market. We’re busy from the get go until it finishes and we could probably go for hours longer. I’ll be curious to see if anyone puts their hand up to keep it going,” he said.

Shafran said that while it wasn’t his most profitable market, it was one of the best thanks to the high quality of the stallholders.

“The fact that it had regular programming with chefs cooking and speaking there also made it a bit more special,” he said.

Business Insider has asked Fairfax Media for comment on the closure. We’ll let you know when we hear back.

* Disclosure: Allure Media, the publisher of Business Insider, is 100% owned by Fairfax Media.

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