Bonn might be still known by some as the former capital of Germany. Maybe it is also known as the city where Ludwig van Beethoven was born and lived for quite some time of his life. The city has 9 different fresh food outdoor markets, mostly smaller ones.
The organic market in front of the Bonn minster (cathedral) in the centre of the city, is a very small one: only 5 stalls sell their produce. What can a market do with only 5 stalls? Well more than it appears at first sight. And the vendors, who are the producers as well, are very busy. Most of the time customers have to queue a bit.
And what are the customers queueing for?
Well there is one stall with very good cheese from goats and cow milk mainly, I especially like the fresh goat cheese, it has a true flavour without being too intense – good to be used for gratins, salads and other recipes. The lady producing all this has a farm in the Eifel, a low mountain range with not so fertile soils. She raises with her family goats, cows and chicken for eggs. At times, she adds some produces from other organic farmers like sheep cheese or honey and wine, but 80% remains her own production. Unfortunately it does not make sense for her to produce aged cheese, as she does not have enough milk for the current demand and because prices for aged cheese are not high enough. She serves 3 different markets along the week.
The butcher produces also most of his meat and sausages, some is imported to complement the choice. The offering is very large: poultry, pork, beef and lamb. He is so successful that he serves 11 different markets in the wider area. Having been at this market for more than 15 years, he has seen the children of customers starting doing their purchases here as well.
Of course there are also a couple vegetable and fruit stalls. The farmer Bursch one serves 12 different market locations and has a very wide offering. Towards the colder seasons the share of own products decreases and organic imports become more prominent. At the farm there is also a kitchen which produces on preserves like potato soups, tomato ragout, pickles etc. This gives the stall a very artisan flair.
And last not least there is an organic bakery which has a big smiley as a brand. The offering covers breads and pastry.
The market is managed by a company called Agrarkonzept, which manages it on behalf of the city of Bonn. The company is also responsible for other organic outdoor markets in the Cologne & Bonn area. For a fee per market day, the vendors get space & power etc. for their carts & stalls. Having management companies to deal with outdoor markets on behalf of the localities is a common concept in Germany, the largest one being probably Deutsche Marktgilde. It believes that outdoor markets contribute significantly to the attractiveness of city centres.
All in all: A very small market but very popular with locals. Range of offering is larger than expected.
A little link list (mostly in German):
- The company managing the Bonn organic market Agrarkonzept – not only in Bonn
- The Ulmenhof selling cheese & eggs
- The website of the baker DLS
- The vegetable and preserve producer Biohof Bursch
- The other vegetable producer Biobauer Palm