The changing faces of the Markets of Soller
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 23rd June 2015
Photographs by Rachel Fox
Behind the scenes of the covered Market of Soller things are changing and the first shock is the innovative new café. The market has always had its café corner with great coffee and tapas which existed to feed the market workers and those in the know about its existence. All change now as a local entrepreneur took a long hard look at the market and met with the Co-operativa that runs the democracy that is Soller Market Hall. The meetings and discussions have come up with a plan which will have great benefit to all in the heart of Soller.
Soller Market is open daily except Sunday and sells fish, meat, vegetables, groceries and many other seasonal items. In one corner sits a lady with a sewing machine who takes up hems and repairs clothes. This community market is all things to all people and occasionally lends its venue as a party hub or art exhibition hall. The shopping competition is immense in the City with many local food shops in the centre and a supermarket round the corner. The threat of a really huge supermarket for Soller has not yet materialised but the Soller Market has had to put this in their ten year plan in considering their long term future. The market is heavily dependant on the fish straight from the Port of Soller , meat from the local farms of the Tramuntana and vegetables from the market gardens of Soller. What could the market do to capitalise on its unique products?
How about this for a plan – Choose your fish from the market stall, pay the market rate bring it to the Bar Mercat where they will clean and cook it for you. Take a seat, enjoy Mallorquin wine from Son Bordils and eat your dinner – on your plate – 15 minutes after purchase. If meat is your thing do the same from the two butchers in the market or vegetables from the freshest, seasonal produce it is possible to buy – just waiting there for you. The Bar Mercat has a menu of its own for those that don’t want to buy their own but all items cooked there are bought from the Soller market. The unique selling point of all this is simply irresistible.
The patio at the rear of the market has got the permission for the tables and chairs and as the weather gets colder they can relocate inside the building. The hours of opening are currently in line with the market but the licences are all in place for this to be an all day, every day experience. The market is buzzing with this new initiative and the foodies of the Soller Valley are so proud that the route from the sea to the table is so short. The Soller Valley is perfect for this experience and older local people smile at the thought that they way they used to live has returned to the heart of Soller.
Meanwhile down at the Port of Soller every Thursday is Market Day. The pedestrianised main street is an ideal wide boulevard for a market and the stalls flock there every week. This is an all year market with food and vegetables and great plants on sale. In the summer it is augmented by clothes, bags, belts and tourist memorabilia. The market extends each week and the crowds come and make a day of it. The Port of Soller has it all from a Thursday market to designer shops. Add to that a great beach and wonderful restaurants and why would you go anywhere else?
The summer has arrived in the Soller Valley and the schools have broken up. The beaches are full of local families enjoying the two weeks before the summer schools start. Sollerics are great users of the beach and are the very best at beach picnics. Watching the plastic containers come out onto tables on beach Sundays is nothing short of a work of art. This is a tradition handed down by generations who have always used the great outdoors. Picnics on the beach or barbeques in the mountain picnic areas are a feature of this part of Majorca . We all get the hang of the ‘bring a plate’ mentality in the end and do our best in the culinary competition it represents.
We share the beauty, the weather and often our food here in our corner of the Tramuntana – come and join us – you are very welcome.