Mareli Wassenaar founded Market @ the Sheds: the monthly, inner-city market aimed at showcasing Tshwane talent.
How did your business start?
It started with a personal mission to reintroduce people to the city centre of Pretoria. Many younger people have never even been in the CBD because of perceptions that it’s unsafe or dirty. I started the Capital Collective, a non-profit organisation that promotes rejuvenation efforts in the inner-city and Market @ the Sheds is one of its projects.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
012Central is the location you want to be in – in Pretoria inner city. This trendy, multispace precinct development by City Property is going to be the best location in the city very soon. I work closely with City Property who are one of the major players in the capital and are serious about rejuvenation efforts in the city.
How did you find your premises?
I’ve been hosting glamorous year-end parties and events in the city since 2009 and I’m constantly looking for beautiful, unexplored spaces with character, where a large group of people can be entertained. I found the old warehouse at 012Central on one of my scouting expeditions in 2013.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
It is a large space with a lot of character and stories to tell. With all the modern amenities added to the rustic, industrial building, it is an absolute jewel for any kind of event.
Who are your neighbours?
The African Beer Emporium, an upmarket restaurant and bar, and MB Studio Community, an art gallery with artist studios.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Very affordable, but I am sure, since this is going to become the address to be, this might change soon.
What is your shop footprint?
We have around 600-800 people at our monthly market.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We hope to have the market more regularly. At the moment it happens once a month on the last Saturday of the month with a few date changes over long weekends and public holidays.
Do you operate online as well?
We have a Facebook page to inform people about event dates, musicians performing and traders at the market.
What’s your most popular item/service?
People love the vibe at the market. We showcase local musicians and always have between four and five bands performing. After hunting for interesting art, design and fashion goods, visitors like to have a long lunch with friends while listening to the bands, do some people-watching or lounge around outside in the courtyard. Kids love the grass and jumping castle in the open space.
Market dates for this year:
- 23 April
- 28 May
- 25 June
- 30 July
- 27 August
- 24 September
- 29 October
082 854 6854
Words: Zena le Roux
Images: PJ le Roux and supplied