Were you aware that Camberwell Fresh Food Market is 85 years old? The market has been a place where stories, confidences and banter are traded with the same zeal as fish, flowers and fruit, chicken, chives and chorizo. A place where butchers, fishmongers, florists, fruiterers and deli owners not only fill baskets, but happily carry them to cars if they get too heavy. A place defined as much by the things it doesn’t have as the things it does: name tags – because everyone knows everyone, clunky trolleys and muzak, although, if you listen closely, mixed chatter becomes its own unique soundtrack. As for the things it does have, let’s just say there are few recipe ingredients, however obscure, that traders either don’t stock or won’t move mountains to source. So long as you let them know how the finished dish tasted.
The site the market is now on was originally a horse carriage factory and in the 1930’s became a produce market, servicing the market growers of the area.
In 1992 a serious fire damaged most of the market, during the repairs the stall holders traded from a temporary premises.
A refurbishment in 2002 gave a fresh look and opened the rear wall to the car park, allowing better access. Many stall holders are second and third generation family run business and still trade in the traditional style marketing.