Walking into The Locals Market, located along the main strip of Potts Point’s Macleay Street, is like entering the dream walk-in pantry. Not only is it neatly organised Marie Kondo-style, but there are over 200 carefully curated pantry essentials to choose from – all of which come from chefs, restaurants and makers in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

It has crispy chilli oil by Melbourne Japanese bar and restaurant Chotto Motto, Cornersmith pickles, Two Good Co chutney, and handmade slow-dried pasta from Zecca in Griffith, Queensland. And you can pick up Newtown’s Rising Sun WorkshopDIY ramen kits while you’re there.

There’s a fridge filled with meats from Rozelle-based Emilio’s Specialty Butcher, hand-filleted smoked salmon by Lindfield’s Mr Flax, and cold-cuts from Pino’s Dolce Vita Fine Foods in Kogarah. Positioned throughout the narrow store are baskets of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Talia Smith – a former cook who previously worked in kitchens at Single O and Bondi’s Shop & Wine Bar – started the operation eight years ago, initially on the rooftop of her mum’s Potts Point home before moving to Surry Hills’ Paramount House. The Locals Market then started popping up in various spots in the inner city.

The new store shouldn’t be mistaken for your regular grocer. Smith has created an inviting space to foster long-term relationships with producers, suppliers and customers, and for interesting conversations.

“I’ve already created a community over the years, and it’s nice when customers come here and they bring their friends and we can all have a chat,” she tells Broadsheet. “I want the space to be so that when people walk in, they feel better when they leave. There’s conversations, there’s music. It’s a whole experience.”

Smith invites customers to “take a bit of responsibility in what they’re consuming” by planning ahead and making produce orders in advance. “I order to order. If you want a Sunday roast, let me know. It’s their personal selection, and I care enough to get exactly what they want in [store]. It’s kind of like bringing this old-school village communication back with people.”

And if you’re completely lost on how to make a meal from the produce you purchase, just ask. “I can give them ways on how to use it and that’s the product gone – it doesn’t sit in people’s fridges.”

While products are available to be purchased in-store, online orders can be made for in-store pick-up from Wednesday to Saturday.

The Locals Market
87a Macleay Street, Potts Point

Hours:
Mon to Sun 9.30am–4.30pm

thelocalsmarket.com.au