Margaret Market transforms old wet market into urban marketplace for homegrown brands

The URA-led conservation project supports small local brands and first-time vendors

Dawson Tan
Written by
Dawson Tan
Food & Drink Writer
Margaret Market Dining Hall
Photograph: Margaret MarketMargaret Market Dining Hall

What was once the Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market & Food Centre is now Margaret Market at Queenstown. The first-of-its-kind market is now a revamped indoor space that features local brands and old trade that relocated from Tanglin Halt. Today, it remains the only building in Singapore built by the Singapore Improvement Trust.

The Urban Development Authority-led conservation project is set to be the jewel of Singapore’s first satellite town of Queenstown. Locality is an important tenet considered during the early stages of development. Instead of engaging with big conglomerates and chain brands, Margaret Market has sought out a diverse range of committed boutique traders and passionate food makers to showcase their unique offerings.

“We hope that the market will be able to put local brands in the spotlight by providing a platform and a voice to local brands, giving them an opportunity to showcase their unique products and services and collectively help them reach a broader audience,” says Dr Stephen Tong, chief-executive of Bethesda Medical and founder of Margaret Market.

Variety of food from Margaret Market vendors
Photograph: Margaret MarketVariety of food from Margaret Market vendors

Occupying the communal grounds are curated homegrown vendors that offer wholesome produce and foods. They include the likes of Urban Folks with their Aussie-inspired jaffles and acai bowls, Homme Baker with artisanal cakes and Margie with its bistro bar concept serving up localised tacos and local craft beers.

“We also hope to create a sense of pride and identity within the community by encouraging people to support their fellow local entrepreneurs, fostering a sense of cooperation among businesses and residents,” Dr Tong continues.

Chinese medical hall Fung Onn Medical Store
Photograph: Margaret MarketChinese medical hall Fung Onn Medical Store

Traders from the soon-to-be-demolished Tanglin Halt are also offered a subsidised rate to set up shop in Margaret Market and one example is Chinese medical hall Fung Onn Medical Store. Ultimately, Margaret Market aims to foster stronger community ties among residents by enabling healthier lifestyle practices through fitness, health and mental well-being services all under one roof.

And with Bethesda Medical as the master tenant, there will be free health screenings on a monthly basis for Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 60 years and above. It is scheduled to happen on the first Saturday of each month, starting September 2 from 8.30am to 10.30am.

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