Based in George Gershwinplein and open from 9.00 until 17.00 every Thursday since 2 September 2021, Zuidas Market features the tastiest food: from cannoli to cheese and from falafel to fish. This was an 18-month trial period, after which the Zuid city district had to make a decision on the market’s future. With the awarding of a five-year licence, that decision has now been made. Bart Vink, Zuid city district chairman: ‘Zuidas Market is set to continue and that’s great news for anyone who wants to see a vibrant Zuidas. It’s become quite busy and lively here between the towers on Thursdays. The market also helps us to connect with Buitenveldert. And it’s all part of Zuidas’ development into a fully-fledged residential district. I hope that more residents and visitors discover the market in the years ahead.’
The market stalls are packed with produce as we make our way from Buitenveldert via de Lex van Deldenbrug into George Gershwinplein just before lunch. ‘It’s a very special market in a special place’, says Patrick from Van der Stok cheese stall, ‘but that doesn’t mean we’re really expensive, even though people often think so.’ Making a success of a market stall requires patience: according to Marc Schoonebeek, it takes around five years for a stall to become profitable. After 18 months, the stalls on Gershwinplein are slowly beginning to attract regular customers. But there’s always room for more. There’s certainly no shortage of ideas. ‘It would be great to put up some signs next to the station’, says Esmé from licorice stall Droomdrop. ‘Then passengers getting off at Mahlerplein could see immediately that there’s a market just a short distance away (behind the two tall Symphony Towers, Ed).’
Sense of belonging
It’s now past midday and the surrounding offices are beginning to empty. The market square is filling up with workers, as well as children’s buggies and people taking advantage of their walk with the dog to pick up something tasty at the market. Here and there, there are bikes laden with shopping bags. ‘Hopefully, the people from Buitenveldert are slowly starting to discover us’, says cheese seller Patrick. ‘In any case, they’re very welcome.’ But like any other market, it’s not always equally busy, as Edwin from Cannoli (Italian pastries) confirms: ‘But, even then, there’s always a great atmosphere here.’ This atmosphere even extends to the businesses with fixed premises in the square, including the Limon restaurant that lends out its terrace tables and chairs to the Zuidas Market in the summer.
In the background, market superintendent Marc is doing his best to make what the market has to offer (‘a great social melting pot, with a really eclectic mix’) as attractive as possible. But there are still quite a few challenges to surmount: ‘For example, we’re reaching our limit when it comes to power. If we had to connect up a new chicken butcher, it’d overload the system.’ But the smile appears on his face again as he talks about the musical events scheduled to start from April. There will be a visit from a jazz ensemble and this year will see Gershwinplein feature as one of the Canal Festival venues in August. What other conclusions can we draw after 18 months of the Zuidas Market? Esmé from Droomdrop gets straight to the point: ‘I have a sense that this is going to be truly something, here in Gershwinplein.’
• Location: Gershwinplein
• When: every Thursday from 09.00 to 17.00
• For more information: www.zuidasmarkt.nl