The Village Markets co-founder balancing babies and a booming business.
The Village Markets co-founder balancing babies and a booming business.
Co-founder of The Village Markets Marissa Bowden is one of the Gold Coast’s most prominent business owners. As if running the much-loved designer markets doesn’t render her busy enough, Marissa is also mum to two beautiful daughters, Stevie and Pepper.
Ahead of Mother’s Day this Sunday, we sat down for a chat with Marissa on all things balance, business and babies.
This weekend is Mother’s Day, how will you celebrate with your daughters and your own mum?
My beautiful mother will be away this Mothers Day unfortunately. There is no The Village Markets that weekend, so I will be spending my day/weekend with my little family (husband Rick and my girls Stevie 5 and Pepper 3), along with my sister and her little fam and my grandmother Joan (86). We are hoping to go for a little weekend escape to a cottage in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Lots of quality family time and a few cheeky vinos no doubt. We love to getaway when we can and have started documenting our family adventures via @the_travelling_tribe_ with a website to come soon.
What do you love most about raising your family on the Gold Coast?
It’s the best! We are so incredibly lucky. We have the most beautiful beaches right on our doorstep, we can stroll up for a coffee barefoot if we wish, it’s warm most of the time so the kids are always outside (or creating masterpieces at their art desk!), we have great local schools and plenty of cultural experiences available. Our neighbourhood is so fun, we can just walk down to the beach and the girls can spend hours playing in the sand with our neighbours kids or scooting in our lane until dark. The city has really evolved and there is such an incredible culture here, I’m excited for our kids as it will only get better.
How has your mum shaped your life?
My mum has been a huge influence, she’s taught us to be humble, she’s taught us self worth and to be happy for other people and to celebrate the achievements of others, she’s compassionate and kind and a beautiful blend of strength and softness. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model, really.
What are some of things you’ve learned that you hope to pass down to your daughters?
That they are the creators of their own destiny, that they can do anything they put their hearts to. That they are perfect just the way they are. That kindness is the most important quality of all.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming a mum?
Patience. Self love.
You co-own The Village Markets, how do you find balance between being a mother and running a business
Still figuring that one out as I go! It’s always a juggle and no two days are ever the same. I just feel so grateful that I have created a business that allows me to be flexible, spend lots of time with my babies and be there for my family, always.
What advice would you offer other mum’s thinking about starting a business?
Go for it!
A favourite piece of life advice you follow yourself…
It’s all about balance.
You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t…
Spent your Sunday at The Village Markets!
Had a couple of beers and fish and chips at Burleigh Headland on sunset.
Surfed Currumbin Alley.
Swam at Tally Creek.
Eaten your weight in Acai bowls 😉
Tell us your favourites…
Beach – Currumbin Beach
Coffee Shop: Hide N Seek (Miami), hands down the best coffee on the Coast and the friendliest most unpretentious owners, Mark and Rosie. I also love The Salt Mill at Currumbin for the same reason and their Acai bowls.
Restaurant: At the moment I am loving Rick Shores! Those bug rolls are next level, the staff are great and the view is incredible. I also love Justin Lane for pizza and vino. The Nasi Goreng at Bam Bam Bakehouse is also delicious, and I love that we can sit in the park next door with the kids and they bring it out to you!
Weekend hang: Aside from Sunday’s spent at TVM shopping, eating, chatting – oh and working 😉 – my favourite thing is waking up and going for a beach walk, coming home to our little shack for a brekkie with my fam, heading to the farmers market for our weekly produce, back home to grab the towels and brollie and we hit our local beach for a morning of sunshine and playing, then home for lunch and a family snooze, a couple of cold beers and maybe an early dinner somewhere local with friends.
Ah markets, how we love thee. Temporarily transforming all our very favourite sun-soaked haunts into stall-laden shopping meccas so that we can get amongst the good vibes, gather fresh provisions and snap up meticulously crafted unique creations from talented local makers.
And for our troubles? Top it all of by refuelling with a hot coffee, fresh smoothie, or the obligatory extra-large serve of Poffertjes.
There’s something (or many somethings…) for everyone and best of all, you’re supporting local – and isn’t that what it’s all about!
Here is a who’s who list of our fabulous local weekday, Saturday and Sunday markets here on our beloved Gold Coast.
The Village Markets
An award-winning platform for small creative businesses, The Village Markets host curated markets encouraging collaboration, creativity and good vibes. With clothing from the coolest designers, jewellery and accessories, homewares, rack sales and amazing food, these curated lifestyle markets are run like a well-oiled machine.
The bi-weekly pilgrimage to Burleigh’s beloved institution is one of the GC’s longest-running markets, with this year TVM marking its 15th in action being testament to this (we still remember the very first…and this makes us feel old), our advice is you’ll blow your dosh every time, and we’re not even fooling ourselves when we say we’re just gonna hit them up for a ‘quick look’… *money with wings emoji* x10
Where: Burleigh Heads Primary School, Burleigh Heads
When: First and third Sunday of the month, 8:30am – 1pm
HOTA Farmers & Artisan Markets
The stunning HOTA grounds offer an equally picturesque and conveniently central spot to convene and soak up some #sundayfunday good vibes and a whole lot of local goodies. Thanks to a little transformation into vibrant (literally and figuratively) cultural hub, the Bundall site is also home to a hotted up weekly market offering which has become one of the Gold Coast’s numero ono community events.
They’re passionate about local farmers, makers, bakers and growers, with in-season farm-fresh produce, delicious artisan foods, boutique fashion, handcrafted treasures and live music. Nestled against the backdrop of Evendale Lake and the surrounding parklands, the kids can take a dip while you sit back and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere (read: eat fresh pastries and sip hot coffee). Bliss!
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Sunday 6am – 11.30am
There are options aplenty when it comes to farmers markets around the Coast to source your fruit, veggies, locally made goods, plants and of course, brekky and caffeine. Supporting local farmers with both organic and conventional produce, you’ll get the feel-good factor as well as the taste-good factor! A ritual for many locals on weekends, it sure beats hitting the mainstream grocery retailers. Plus, the best thing is, you’re spoilt for choice with a number of different locations to hit up.
Where & When: Helensvale State High School – every Saturday from 6am – 11am at 243 Discovery Drive, Helensvale; Marina Mirage Farmers Markets – every Saturday from 6.30am – 12pm at Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach; Palm Beach Currumbin High School – every Saturday morning from 6am – 11.30am at PBC, Thrower Drive, Palm Beach; Burleigh Farmers Markets – every Saturday morning from 7am – 12 noon at Burleigh Heads State School, Cnr West Burleigh Rd &, Lower Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads.
Still the biggest market in Oz, Carrara Markets house over 300 stalls. Discount shopping at its best, there is literally nothing you can’t find from fresh produce, fashion, homewares, pots, plants, bric a brac, cars, souvenirs, arts and crafts and everything in between. Perfect for the family, there’s buskers, pony rides, a baby animal farm, bungy trampolines, mini golf, face painters, and even a new walk-in Butterfly House.
Where: Gooding Drive, Carrara
When: Every Saturday and Sunday, 7am – 3pm
Emerald Lakes Gourmet Food and Craft Markets
Feeling a bit fancy? Described as a complete alfresco gourmet shopping experience with an international ambiance, head to Emerald Lakes for some of our region’s best street food and fresh produce. It’s also one of the few markets available for a mid-week meander to replenish the larder with quality essentials – with Australian seafood, grain fed and hormone free meats, free range eggs and home-baked goodies all on offer. Plus stock up on gorgeous candles, melts and a myriad of unique crafts, all handmade with love and arguably, still *somewhat* essential.. bc vibes are important too.
Where: Emerald Lakes Complex, The Boulevard, Carrara
When: Every Thursday, 3pm – 7pm
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
No prizes for guessing where these markets are located. Mere footsteps from the sand, they’ve been an iconic Gold Coast shopping and cultural experience since the mid-90s. Featuring artisan and traditional Aussie goods, fresh produce, gourmet provisions, handmade wares and more, they showcase our best growers, makers, characters and creators. When you’re done, Surfers’ melting pot of restaurants and bars are a hop, skip and a jump over the road.
Where: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, 4pm – 9pm
Gold Coast Art & Craft Sunday Markets
Lining the beachfront at four beautiful GC locations (Broadbeach, Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads and now Paradise Point), these markets have been a local fave for over three decades. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, souvenirs, art, craft, the ingenious or the weird and the wonderful, it’s here. A-buzz with atmosphere, there are over 150 stalls showcasing original Australian-made products, fresh produce, yummy food and live entertainment.
Where & When: Kurrawa Park – The first and third Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at 155 Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach; Queen Elizabeth Park – The second and fourth Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at 60 Marine Parade, Coolangatta; Justin Park – The last Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at Burleigh Heads; Esplanade North Park – The fourth Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at Paradise Point.
The Sanctuary Markets
On The Village Green at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll find these popular markets. A nod to the GC’s multi-culturalism with local and international foods plus cool arts and crafts, you’ll also be wowed by our best homegrown entertainers. The venue is fully licensed (translation: let’s wine), featuring craft beers exclusively from Burleigh Brewing Co, and vinos courtesy of Sirromet Wines.
Where: On The Village Green, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
When: Every Friday, 4pm – 9pm
The Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market
Every Sunday morning you can get your fill of organic, spray-free fruit, veggies, ready-made eats (we’re all about easy eats), organic cosmetics, organic clothing…basically, if it’s organic and it exists, it’s here! It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday morning and load up your basket with treats that will not only make you feel good, but help the planet too!
Where: Merrimac State High School, 3 Dunlop Ct, Mermaid Waters
When: Every Sunday, 6am – 11.30am
Hide & Seek Children’s Market
Those familiar with the Hide & Seek Children’s Market from its former Elanora and Robina locations will be thrilled to learn the concept lives on thanks to a new home in Upper Coomera – with the same signature blend of unique and skilfully hand-crafted creations, all designed with parents and mini-me’s in mind.
The curation of clever local creatives and artisans brings us cute clothing, accessories, toys, décor, furnishings and more. Bop along to all-day live music, grab some bites from local food trucks and wear the kids out with a range of activities. If you love on-trend goodies, rare finds and spoiling your little loves, you won’t be disappointed.
Where: The Well, 58 Highland Way, Upper Coomera
When: Third Saturday of every month from 8am – 12pm.
There’s only one thing better than a market and that’s a vibin’ night market. The Coast’s OG laneway dining experience hosts food vendors of all nationalities in the one space, take your entrée from Spain, your main from Thailand, and sweets from France. How multicultural of you! With farshon (fashion – but we just like saying FARSHON) and accessories from local designers, these markets have cool factor for days.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
When: Every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 10pm
Broadwater Pavilion Markets
A newer in-stall-ment to the GC’s market scene, Southport’s open air market by the sea is quickly establishing itself as a fave among Northern residents with stacks of fun for the whole family. There’s plenty of entertainment for the kiddos, with face painting, henna, hair braiding, character appearances all frequenting the lineup.
While those who have aged out of face-paint demographic (#tear) can hunt for some hand-crafted wares with all manner of scented, ceramic, and sewn goodies on rotation from local stallholders. Bonus for paw-rents: they’re pet friendly (on lead), so bring your pup along for a paw-some day out.
Where: Bathing Pavilion Lawn, Marine Parade, Southport
When: The third Saturday of every second month, 8am – 2pm
Jack Evans Boat Harbour Waterfront Markets
Another one of the newer kids on the proverbial market block, the picturesque Tweed promenade snaking by the Boat Harbour waterfront was just begging for local stallholders and their crafty creations to set up shop and complement our leisurely Saturday strolls.
A stunner of a spot for the Southern GC (four-legged friends invited also!) to congregate with live music, artisan food vendors, hand crafted treasures and boutique fashion stalls a plenty. After you’ve shopped up a storm, cool off with a spot of paddle boarding as the glistening water beckons.
And if that hasn’t worn out the kiddos, the fortuitously placed new foreshore playground should do the trick.
When: Jack Evans Boat Harbour Market: first Saturday of every month, 8am – 1pm. Night Market: second & fourth Friday of every month, 4pm – 8pm
Where: Wharf St, Tweed Heads
Long before healthy food became hipster, Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods was serving up delicious, good-for-you treats in the heart of Burleigh.
Since 1997 Helen Gibson has been a prominent figure on James Street sharing her love of healthy food including nuts and seeds, baking goods, herbs and spices, teas and powders, Acai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices.
Recently the space next door became available so Helen jumped at the chance to move the juice bar to accommodate her loyal customers who come from far and wide for her goodies.
Helen’s Heavenly Wholefoods Café serve a great range of healthy wraps, sandwiches and salads some of which are gluten free and/or organic.
They also have an unfairly delicious range of raw treats and protein powders available for purchase.
Both the store and café are constantly buzzing with bikini-clad beach goers, mums and bubs and those looking for fresh, delicious food and a passion for health you’d be cold hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Stroll off the nearby Burleigh beach for a healthy takeaway treat or spend some time in air-conditioned comfort and watch the world pass by.
Having always been ahead of the curve in terms of providing delicious, healthy treats to Gold Coasters, Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods is the gift that keeps on giving.
Hours: 6.30am to 5.30pm
Address: 2/29 James St, Burleigh Heads QLD.
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
Takeaway could well be the greatest thing ever invented and if wasn’t so bad for you, you’d probably get it every day right? WELL GUESS WHAT! According to this very article, takeaway food doesn’t have to be bad for you and that could be the greatest news ever not invented.
Here’s a list of the top 9 restaurants offering healthy takeaway options. Happy days.
Raw Energy, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads
Located on the corner of Marine Parade in Coolangatta is Raw Energy, a healthy food and lifestyle café that started on the Sunshine Coast. Their focus is on fresh food, served fast in a funky environment. Raw Energy’s got you covered, offering anything from healthy smoothies or juices to macadamia and lentil burgers, YUMM!
Where: 110 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
If you haven’t been there yet, put this one on your ‘to do’ list! The Pocket in Burleigh’s Connor Street is an absolute favourite amongst locals and offers a great range of healthy take away options (with an extensive vegetarian/gluten free menu). The Pocket aims to be a conscientious restaurant serving locally sourced, wholesome food, often using produce grown by owners David and Michelle.
Where: 13 Connor St, Burleigh Heads
Marie Anita’s Gluten Free Health Cafe
Marie Anita’s offers a solely gluten free and sugar free menu designed to provide dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and raw alternatives. With the aim to source from local suppliers and to use as much organic produce as possible, Marie Anita’s challenges the image of healthy eating.
Where: 2364 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
A personal favorite is Greenhouse Canteen & Bar, the holy grail of all healthy food. With the motto ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan’ they’re onto something, because they are busy every day of the week. But not to worry, they do take away, too! All produce are sourced from trusted suppliers and farmer’s markets – food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul. Amen!
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami and 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
BSKT Cafe (Biscuit) was founded with the belief that people care about their health. They just needed the right place to deliver these health options in an indulgent and accessible manner.
All products are designed to inspire through nutritional quality, taste and a global conscious. Made from high quality plants and free from refined sugar and anything artificial. All products are hand crafted with love using traditional methods busting the myth Vegan and Paleo products can’t be delicious as well as nutritious.
Where: 4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
The Shack Superfood Cafe
The name says it all, the Shack Superfood Café in Nobby’s is a health freaks paradise with real and fresh food that tastes great and is nutritious! On offer is quinoa, acai, smoothies and juices, breakfast, takeaway lunch and dinner boxes, plus tea and coffee. If you are looking for a hassle free, convenient and easy takeaway option look no further and go give the team at the Shack a visit.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach is a vegetarian and plant-based restaurant inspired by the art of creative and tasty cuisine. With an extensive salad bar and delicious hot meal options such as curries or lasagne, Cardamom Pod is the perfect place to get some tasty and healthy takeaway, and word on the street is there are opening one in Brickworks! But be warned, their desserts are out of this world, especially the raw peanut butter cups.
Where: 2685 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
Govindas is without a doubt one of the most popular vegetarian, eco-friendly take-away restaurants on the Gold Coast. They offer a variety of pure vegetarian foods (vegan and gluten free options available) including vegetable dishes, basmati rice, dhal, potato bake, samosas and a variety of salads, desserts and drinks. Veggies are sourced locally and all dishes are prepared daily using the freshest produce. The buffet style approach lets customer create their own meal at reasonable prices. YUM.
Where: James St, Burleigh Heads
Giri Kana Cafe
The Giri Kana Cafe is a fresh take on vegan and vegetarian food, with a wide selection of freshly made vegan / vegetarian items (many organic and gluten free options also), including an extensive dessert menu. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods, which are good for the body, as well as the mind and spirit – and to this end, food is cooked with love and devotion. Try one of their signature tofu or vegie burgers served on turkish bread or as a gluten free option the Open Burger on rice. All so good!
Where: Cnr of Nind St and Gold Coast Highway, Southport
Words by Kirra Smith