Seedlab at Salamanca Market
Nestled amidst the historic heart of Hobart, Salamanca Market is a hive of traders, artisans, and storytellers. Known for its bustling atmosphere and vibrant vendor stalls, Salamanca Market has hosted a Seedlab initiative throughout 2023. It’s a partnership that has provided opportunities for new and emerging businesses to present their products, receive feedback, and understand market dynamics in a real-time setting.
Seedlab being at Salamanca has also helped drive interest in our program, with 11% of the current crop of almost 50 Bootcampers being Salamanca stallholders. It’s also a great way to catch up with our Alumni – some of them already Salamanca stallholders, like House of Fudge, Canopy Ice Cream, La Cantara Cheeses, and New Norfolk Distillery, and other participants from our National program, Seedlab Australia, when they pop into Hobart.
A consensus among the Seedlab at Salamanca participants, is the feeling of being supported throughout their Salamanca Market experience. Whether it was setting up their stalls or manoeuvring through the rush of the market, the Seedlab team has been there every weekend, ensuring smooth sailing.
“Plenty of interested and ‘purchasing’ customers. The Seedlab team were very helpful and organised and kept the coffees coming!” one vendor shared after their experience.
Another recounted the value of real-life interactions, “Our Seedlab at Salamanca experience enabled us to engage with a new market demographic. It was vital and gave us the confidence and feedback to pursue certain value-added products.”
One of the significant benefits participants gain from their experience at Salamanca Market is better understanding customer preferences. Many have commented on the power of face-to-face interactions, allowing them to adjust their approach in real-time. For some, this has been their first foray into a market setup, making the experience all the more pivotal.
Feedback on product packaging, presentation, and the importance of storytelling emerges as recurrent themes each weekend. The ability to gauge customer reactions instantly allows businesses to refine their strategies, as one vendor pointed out, “Being at Salamanca was a great opportunity to understand what customers were looking for in a product like mine.”
Every vendor’s journey at the market has had its share of lightbulb moments. For some, it’s been the realisation of the importance of value-added products. For others, it’s an acknowledgement that brand exposure is just as valuable, if not more so, than the immediate sales of the day.
One sentiment has resonated across the board. Participants appreciated the sense of community and collaboration that Seedlab at Salamanca Market fosters. The chance to interact with customers firsthand, to tell their stories and share their products is invaluable. As one participant has summed it up, “The Seedlab Salamanca experience has been an amazing platform to assist in exposing our business, products, and our story to thousands of market visitors in just one day.”
Some of the new Seedlab Tas Bootcampers who are already seasoned hands at Salamanca Market include Benni Marine Designs, Little Lissa Loo, Stitched with Love by Ev, Lakker Chocolatiers and Millie Organics.
New Salamanca Stallholders
Meg from Barbers Bees and Berries (Campbell Town) recently had her first stall at Salamanca as a casual stallholder – emboldened by her success on the Seedlab at Salamanca stands. So did Fergus from Mr Brown and Towns Mushrooms, Launceston.
A Resounding Success
The Seedlab initiative at Salamanca Market is a testament to the importance of real-world market exposure for emerging businesses. It’s an initiative that not only showcases local products but also supports vendors to thrive in the market environment. As vendors and organisers alike reflect on each Saturday, the overarching sentiment remains clear: direct consumer engagement is invaluable.
Here’s to more Seedlab at Salamanca Market! Thank you to the Department of State Growth and the City of Hobart for this opportunity.