Tantalising treat for all taste buds as Joburg’s Halaal Goods Market makes return

The Halaal Goods Market will be held in the Joburg inner city. l INSTAGRAM

The Halaal Goods Market will be held in the Joburg inner city. l INSTAGRAM

Published Sep 30, 2023


Johannesburg – Just as spring ushers in a season of renewal and awakening, the acclaimed Halaal Goods Market (HGM) returns this weekend and is ready to take your taste buds on an adventure.

The first artisanal halaal food and design market in South Africa is this today (Saturday) and tomorrow giving attendees the platform to shop at 70 small businesses which will be selling food, beverages, clothing, jewellery and art.

“This time we are really focusing on new start-up businesses with the small makers launching new products as well as one business actually starting for the first time from the market,” HGM founder Fehmida Jordaan told The Saturday Star.

Affectionately known as Fehmz, the entrepreneur and avid foodie who is acclaimed on social media, is thrilled to host the 14th edition of the gathering.

“It's been an adventure, and we learn from each market on how to do it better, we also learnt that going too big too quickly can have it's downfalls too so in 2022 we went back to the drawing board and wanted to bring back the old school values that we started with,” she said.

Halaal Goods Market founder Fehmida Jordaan. Picture: Supplied image.

“The way we looked from HGM 1 to HGM 14 is vastly different and it's been one of the greatest adventures for me as an entrepreneur.”

And this year’s HGM, which will take place at The Fox Precinct, Ferreirasdorp, in the Joburg inner city, is set to feature over 36 different food options.

“This includes everything from sweet to savoury, including Korean Food and Swahili Food.”

Other treats on sale at HGM include ice-cream in all its forms, as well as a range of drinks from slush, freshly made boba, tea and coffee and indulgent hot chocolate.

HGM will also host a paint night and live art drawing, a comedy show with the Goliath family, arcade games and Foosball and Instagrammable spaces. There will also be secure parking at HGM, as well as prayer facilities for attendees.

What makes Jordaan particularly proud is that this edition of HGM is set to feature 44 women-owned small business vendors.

“It also makes me so proud to see other small businesses grow and thrive and to see people come together to enjoy the market and have a good time.”

The very first HGM took place back in 2017 and since then, the food festival has blossomed into a thriving market which attracts thousands of people over the course of two days.

She explained that they stumbled across the idea after she and her family spent much of their free time exploring the different tastes and flavours that Joburg, a hub of cultural diversity, had to offer.

Halaal Goods Market founder Fehmida Jordaan. Picture: Supplied image.

Jordaan, who considers herself an avid foodie with a somewhat adventurous palate, along with her husband and two young children, were determined in their pursuit of delicious cuisine.

While the Muslim family enjoyed the Indian halaal dishes they grew up with, they were determined to take their taste buds on a new adventure.

“There’s got to be more available than just the typical breyani, samoosas and curries,” Jordaan said.

During their quest, they visited many of Joburg’s markets and even tried to see what halaal options were available at the many food trucks that have popped up around the city.

But despite their appetite for variety, the family would often be left wanting.

“We eat strictly halaal and when we go to markets we look at all the food that is available, but we end up eating at that one place that serves halaal food,” she explains.

TREATS: Some of the offerings at the first HalaalGoods Market event. Supplied image.

She realised that the city’s diversity did not necessarily apply to all religions and their diet and then, in July 2017, she decided to establish the very first HGM.

“We didn’t want it to be a typical flea market. It needed to be something interesting that showcased the types of foods that people can eat, but it had to be all halaal.

“We wanted to display typical South African flavours, because we have such a diverse community. We don’t realise that with halaal, you can get Indian, Mediterranean, Arabian and even sushi.

“There are so many halaal options but there wasn’t a market where all of this was available, and that’s one of the main reasons we started HGM.”

Despite the market’s halaal emphasis, the market wanted to cater to all races and religions.

“We have specifically said that the market serves strictly halaal but it's open to all.”

Customers don’t only enjoy typical halaal food but also Turkish food, braai meat, experimental and fusion cuisines, dessert as well as non-alcoholic beverages, in accordance with Islamic law.

Jordaan also wanted HGM to be family oriented and focused on small businesses.

“Our growth and success lies in the success of each vendor who partakes and each person who comes to enjoy and spend their weekend with us.”

And as HGM continues to grow, Jordaan hopes that it continues to attract people from all walks of life.

“I would love for us to grow into a space where people understand that just because the food is halaal it does not mean that the market is only for a certain group of people. It's an opportunity to explore different cuisines and cultures,” she said.

“It's a way that we want to open up the space to embrace all, to shop small businesses who are making absolutely delicious food, to elevate businesses who are producing quality local clothing and jewellery. It's a space where we want to grow and partner with larger businesses and events to bring a unique and halaal offering to their patrons too.”