The Country Craft Market in Somerset West in South Africa’s Helderberg region, is renowned for quality products that are genuinely hand-crafted. This market is held during the summer months at a lovely park-like venue, Southey’s Vines, located opposite the police station on the town’s Main Road.
Established way back in 1983, the Country Craft Market has withstood the test of time for this long purely because the products, representing every craft imaginable at approximately 200 stalls, are of the very best quality.
Better still, when shoppers get tired, they are able to sit and enjoy refreshments before continuing to pick their favourite products from packed stalls along the lanes.
The Country Craft Market is held from September to May each year. During most of these months there are two market days as well as Christmas markets every Saturday in December. These dates vary each year and are available on the Country Craft Market website.
Market hours are 08:00-13:00, entry is free and there is plenty of free, secure parking behind Southey’s Vines.
Charities the Country Craft Market Supports
The Country Craft Market does its best to support Helderberg-based charities as much as they can and all their food stalls are run by the Scouts (a burger stall and a tea garden) and Rotary (a braai area with chicken pitas, boerewors rolls etc.).
In addition the Lions raise funds at a second-hand book stall; the Township Animal Rescue organization sells products to raise funds, and also has rescued pets for adoption; and the Somerset Night Shelter sells products inhabitants are taught to make to help get them on their feet.
The Country Craft Market is an association not-for-gain and any surplus money that is not plowed back into advertising and market running costs, is donated to charity as well.
Crafters at the Country Craft Market
This craft market has about 150 permanent members and 200 casual members. Casual members are rotated and moved around the market to keep the market looking fresh for regular visitors.
All the market stalls are usually manned by the person who makes the product, and so most are able to take orders for bespoke designs.
New members are only taken on once a year at an Approval Day which is held on 1 May (unless that date falls on a Sunday). On Approval Day all prospective members have stalls, and they trade with the public, while a selection committee of eight seasoned crafters “vets” them.
Visitors to the craft market
This popular craft market has many regular visitors and foreigners who have summer homes in the Somerset West area support the market particularly well, often taking their own guests along with them. During the peak tourist season from January to early April one hears more foreign accents than local ones along the market pathways.
Telephone: +27 21 852 6608
Southey’s Vines, 186 Main Road, Somerset West
GPS coordinates: S34° 4′ 35.94″ E18° 50′ 43.86″