Between Mother's Day just recently and Earth Day, there's been a lot of focus around family and our health. There's also been a lot of talk about sustainable food practices on a local level. All this chatter has us thinking - where can we source natural, homegrown foods? The answer is simple and right under our noses - when it comes to local markets in New Providence, all roads lead to the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market!
Now open on Fridays and Saturdays, between 8am - 4pm, the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market is packed full of wholesome goodies, entertainment, and educational opportunities for the kids (and big kids)! And while the main focus is on fresh fruits and veggies, we're happy to share that here, you'll also find fresh-made juices and teas, homemade sweets and treats, and a healthy dose of delicious Bahamian fare! What better way to spend a Saturday morning :)
As you enter the grounds, first up, you'll find JR's Farm. Farmer Jetta Rolle has a farm on Cowpen Road west, where she grows a long list of healthy vegetables and leafy greens. Originally a Grower with the Ministry of Agriculture for several years before developing her farm, Ms. Rolle has years of experience and knowledge when it comes to local farming practices. At The Market, she sells $1 seedlings like beets, lettuce, collard greens, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet pepper, tomatoes, onions, and herbs. She also sells her greens, veggies, and herbs but claims proudly that most people come to her, particularly for her broccoli and cauliflower.
Fresh Produce at the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market
For Whitlyn Miller, farming comes naturally. A horticulturalist and retired teacher by profession, Ms. Miller sells the fresh fruits and vegetables at her stand. She also sells vegan and vegetarian snacks and desserts, plus veggies for small-batch pickling. You'll find her at her farm stand, where she's always eager to share her knowledge and chat about growing and harvesting techniques, weather conditions, new recipes, and the great varieties of fruits and veggies we can grow. A little-known fact - she invented "cracked coconut." If you haven't tried it, you're definitely missing out!
Not only do freshly-grown veggies taste better, but they're chock full of nutrients without any added unwanteds! They don't need to have a long shelf life to make an international trip. They're harvested straight from the soil, cleaned, and ready to go! Natasha Adderly would agree. With her Bahama Island Farms, she's another one of the local vendors at the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market. She specializes in salad mixes and microgreens and also stocks her farm stand with seasonal veggies and delicious wines she makes from native fruit.
Natasha Adderly | Bahama Island Farms
At the Edgar family's farm stand, you'll find fabulous Bahamian fare, including conch fritters, hearty soups, sauces, and homemade juices. With their farm being only a mile or two away from the Market, they proudly stock their stand with the seasonal veggies they've produced and even create delicious homemade sauces from over-ripe produce. Chock full of sun-ripened tomatoes, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in a store that can rival this great sauce. When it comes to their juices, you can enjoy ice-cold refreshing and homemade selections ranging from tamarind to ginger beet, sorrel, soursop, moringa, passionfruit, and more!
Herb gardens are an easy weekend project for any novice grower, and there are some essential fruits and vegetables we can also grow at home. A quick visit to Olga and Reggie Munroe's stall, and you'll discover all you need to know. This couple is passionate about cultivating plants from Non-GMO heritage seeds.
When it comes to dairy and poultry, you're sure to find everything from locally-grown organic eggs to live birds, coops, and even fresh local meat for sale.
Fresh eggs available at the Gladstone Road Farmer's Market
Other interesting stalls you'll want to check out:
The Market is a wonderful place for farmers to showcase their passion and their products to their visitors. It also allows them to come together and exchange ideas and recipes, to trade growing secrets and learn from one another.
Breads, pastries and more at The Gladstone Road Farmer's Market
For us visitors, The Market isn't just a place to purchase freshly-grown, naturally-made foods. It's also a place for us to learn about our local food system and share unique experiences with our children about food sustainability, local culture, and agriculture. This is down-home Bahamian living at its finest, and if you haven't visited yet, you need to make sure The Gladstone Road Farmers Market is on this year's bucket list. Come for an hour, stay for the afternoon. Explore, learn, share and grow with the outstanding farmers here.
The Gladstone Road Farmer's Market is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 am to 4 pm, and entrance to the grounds is free. Standard Covid-19 Protocols are in place (masks, social distancing). Be sure to bring those reusable bags - you'll be glad you did!
So here's a story that will make any heart happy. In the middle of Covid-19 lockdowns last summer, our agent, Melissa received a phone call from a past client, with a new culinary vision he and his partners were looking to develop. They needed a truly unique space for a restaurant concept they hoped would turn heads and fill bellies!
Today, thanks to their ingenuity, we're happy to report they have created a little bit of culinary magic just outside of downtown Nassau. Maybe you've heard of it, and perhaps you know the secret already. If you don't, it's time you do.
Bahamian Bistro - an uber-creative culinary concept that's been creating a buzz around town since they opened at the end of 2020. Here, you'll find the perfect blend of people, food, culture, and hospitality all under one roof. In their own words, Bahamian Bistro is a food archipelago - the country's first "Multi Restaurant" in one great location. Here, you can choose from 8+ restaurants but pay with only one bill. And when it comes to the menu items, food fans are in for a real treat. Offering everything from Bahamian delights to international cuisine, including Haitian fare, Italian, BBQ, Sushi, Chinese, and staples like a good ole' burger. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; you're sure to find something for everyone - whether you're into super-healthy, antioxidant-rich, fresh-pressed juices, or a mouthwatering traditional plate of bacon and eggs, or a signature Bahamian boil. Their cocktail/mocktail menu is long and varied with libations for everyone to enjoy. Order online for pick-up or delivery, or stay and enjoy a meal outdoors!
Established in 2020, Bahamian Bistro is the creation of Cutelle Mikula, Jewel McIntosh, and Jamal Stubbs. Together, they are a dynamic team of young Bahamian entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds in operations, finance, hospitality, information technology, and the culinary industry. During the pandemic, this trio decided to create a genius concept that would address the growing demand for food and beverage delivery to consumers, while also providing small business owners with a way to operate at lower costs. "Initially, it was travel that brought on the idea for us. After visiting a few food halls around the world, we saw the growing trend and thought to bring it back to Nassau. Then Covid happened, and during the lockdown, it provided time for research, and we also saw the concept of virtual halls growing in many countries. It was an excellent idea for small food businesses to save on overhead expenses," says Cutelle. And so, the group designed the country's first communal kitchen, allowing multiple vendors to retail their products using a single sales platform. "We made it our mission to create and nurture an environment where small businesses could grow and expand their profitability while also presenting our customers with quality food options at an affordable price," says the group.
Concept down and vision ready to go, the group knew they needed to find just the perfect spot within their budget. Having recently worked with Melissa on a separate search for office space, Jamal knew she was the right person to call. "When Jamal contacted me and explained the concept of Bahamian Bistro and what they were looking for, I was excited as I also loved dining in these gourmet food emporiums while away," says Melissa. "Looking for a restaurant space during a pandemic was tricky. Having a large outdoor space was a requirement, as indoor dining was not, and is still not permitted. We found a space that worked and fit the budget in a central location and they got to work as soon as the lease was signed! Everything you see there, they did themselves - from building to design and painting - they did it all. They took a huge leap of faith during a challenging time, so it has been wonderful to see their business grow and flourish and become so successful. Cutelle, Jewel, and Jamal have created a new niche of dining, and the group has given small F&B businesses a platform to introduce themselves to Bahamian consumers. I am thrilled for them."
Pictured: Melissa Farrington & Cutelle Mikula at Bahamian Bistro
And of the process for the team? Well, they couldn't be more pleased. "Melissa was amazing. She continuously updated us on available sites that might fit our needs. She was always accessible and willing to research any information we might have needed."
So where is this space?
You'll find them on Christie Avenue, between Dowdeswell and Bay Streets! Vibrant island colors, a chill and welcoming atmosphere, feature in this 'good vibes only' spot! "Our goal was to make every seat in the space instagrammable, or picture-worthy for our guests. A place you feel good in and want to share with friends and family. We again looked to our travel experiences for inspiration - we're always looking for local spots to capture photos when we're away, and we knew we had to do the same with our location," says Cutelle. Bright, cheerful colors, sand-lined floors, fun and funky furniture and even an indoor swing are just some of the highlights. "Bahamian Bistro's distinctive yet cohesive and dynamic vibe is a true reflection of our partnership. We knew we wanted the space to offer a laid back, colorful and diverse culinary experience. This uniquely tailored atmosphere is a perfect blend of our three varied backgrounds and personalities."
As to how things are going so far, we can report only great things. Noting that the most popular aspects of Bahamian Bistro among its patrons are the quality, variety, and pricing of the food paired with the great atmosphere, the team feels they've nailed their concept. "The reception we've received from our local customer base has been very welcoming from day one, which we're extremely happy and grateful for," says Cutelle. "Opening any new business requires huge risk, especially during a pandemic, but people are looking for new and exciting experiences, and we're going to continue to provide just that!"
More good news? Moving forward, the group intends to continue to grow. "We'll be adding a few more vendors to the food archipelago. The goal is to have every food cuisine available," they've told us. We can't wait to see what the future holds for Bahamian Bistro and the fantastic team behind them, and we're grateful to have played a part in helping this dream come true! From Melissa and the Morley team, we wish our friends at Bahamian Bistro every continued success.
Ready to check out this great spot? Head to: