Small market with big heart celebrates 15 years

Raglan Creative Market celebrates 15 years in 2020 of bringing local artisans together in a fabulous one-stop shopping experience.

It started life in 2005 as the Whaingaroa Creative Market, founded by two local women Nadine Meddings-Malone and Kim Garside, who saw the need for a showcase of local talent and enterprise.

Current market co-ordinator Deb King says it started small with a core volunteer base of stallholders who organised the monthly Sunday market at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre.

“They had already been attending other markets in the Waikato and Auckland and were keen to have a Raglan version.”

The Raglan Community Arts Council took over managing the market in 2007 to further promote the arts and increase visitor numbers in Raglan.

Raglan Old School Arts Centre manager Jacqueline Anderson was employed as the market coordinator in 2009. After the completion of the new St Lazarus building with commercial kitchen in 2010, the additional kitchen foodie space ws utilised for the market.

“The market continued to grow in strength and numbers, additional summer markets and themed markets also started,” Jacqueline says.

Running rain, hail or shine, Jacqueline says the stallholders are the stars of the market.

“They are some of the hardest workers around, battling all kinds of weather from torrential rain, wind and hanging onto gazebos for dear life.”

Some of the long-term stallholders include Monika De La Cruz and Yannis Petzold from Ocean Inlays, Liz Stanway and Rick Thorpe from Taunga Kereru and Pat Alderson with her beautiful handmade sewing

and knitted creations. Plus, many others holders who have been coming to the market as regular artisan stallholders for over 10 years.

The market has also been an incubator for local social entrepreneurship with some stallholders setting up shops in Raglan as well as getting their products into other shops in Raglan and elsewhere.

At its peak the market now has around 70 stallholders who come from around the country and set up shop alongside the local entrepreneurs.

“In the scheme of things, it’s actually a small market but its rich in so many other ways and it has such a big heart,” Deb says.

Raglan Creative Market is not only known for providing an eclectic shopping experience but it is renowned for its great vibe and all-round friendliness – not only for the shoppers but amongst the stallholders themselves.

“We always get comments about the genuine sense of community here, and the openness and collaboration that happens at the Raglan market,” Deb says.

“The stall holders are the pulse of the market and have shaped what the market is today – a vibrant, welcoming and inviting community event for all families, locals and visitors to enjoy,” Jacqueline adds.

Coming up in 2020 are two twilight markets in February and March on a Friday evening for end of week shopping and wind down at the licensed bar.

Janine Jackson

2020 additional markets – Jan 12, Feb 9, Jan 26 – Sunday, 10-2pm. Twilight Friday markest Feb 21 and Mar 20 – 4-8pm.  And every second Sunday of the month for the rest of the year.  Check out the Raglan Creative Market on Facebook and