More than 400,000 people have walked through the reclaimed wood portal-entry to Origins Market in Busselton since it opened its doors one year ago, catapulting many new businesses to centre stage and inspiring a new way of discovering uniquely Western Australian produce.
Recognising its one year anniversary with a ‘Celebration of its Origins’, general manager Pip Close explains the novel market ethos has struck a chord with locals and visitors alike, embedding the destination as a springboard to the South West region.
“Connecting people directly with quality Western Australian produce is a guiding principle for Origins Market, closing the gap between producer and consumer is at the heart of what we do,” Ms Close explains.
“Within our walls, in the heart of Busselton, are more than 80 makers, growers and producers of quality Western Australian goods. Here you will find everything from some of the best baked goods in the South West, to nationally acclaimed photography and artwork, to handspun yarn and hand-woven rugs, to sustainably-grown hemp foods and honey, an ever-growing range of international eateries, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as some of the best small cellar wines, ciders and handcrafted spirits Western Australia has to offer, Origins Market is a showcase of what makes WA a truly incredible place,” she said.
Connection, sustainability and an eye to the future is proving key to the success of the market, principles which have seen the ambitious and novel (business structure) weather some of the most difficult and unprecedented economic conditions to face Australian business in modern history.
“The last year, which of course was also our first, has been an extremely challenging environment for business in Australia,” Ms Close explains.
“We have had to move quickly, reacting to economic, social and community health demands whilst supporting and incubating many small and micro businesses that have placed their trust in the vision of Origins Market through these same challenges.
“Sustainability is a guide for us, it is no buzz word. It means we look to the future and with that lens we are able to make decisions for the long-term, be it the active reinvestment of stall rental fees into the promotion of the business; the fostering of micro-business collectives to enable shared staffing; or the proactive environmental and waste management strategies in place to minimise our footprint, the key is to support all of the businesses within our walls to prosper and grow for the long-term.
Origins Market lies on Wadandi Boodja country, abutting the Wonnerup Wetlands an area well known by the Wadandi custodians as a food-bowl for people who came before.
Working with elders of the Undalup Association, Origins Market has woven the story of the land into the fabric of the facility. Sandra Hill created the designs for the tapestries suspended from the ceiling which depict the six seasons of our land, seasons that guide the food production and engagement with country.
Heading the one year anniversary celebrations of Origins Markets’ operations on Thursday, 3 November will be an event called ‘Walking on Boodja with Waalitj’. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about Wadandi culture and connection to country with cultural custodian Zacc Webb from the Undalup Association with a walk on country in the adjacent Wonnerup Wetlands.
The first anniversary celebration will continue with a weekend of events and activities.