Over the past five years, Canberra’s food scene has undergone a remarkable transformation – with new and exciting venues opening up to creative street food concepts. Leading the way is Canberra’s premier street food event – The Forage. A roaming event focused on high-quality local street food, baked goods, coffee, wine and beer, the Forage has been held across numerous spaces including New Acton, Fairbairn, Barton and The City, and has fast become a highlight on the Canberra foodies’ calendar.
Founder Belinda Neame established the event in 2014. A previous small business owner herself, Belinda saw The Forage as a unique opportunity for both patrons and business owners in the Capital. “There were no street food events in Canberra and I could tell the community needed something. I wanted to give small businesses an effective way of advertising their product to a foodie market,” she explains.
The dynamic nature of The Forage means every event is different, with new spaces, stalls and musicians showcased at each Forage stop. “It’s so exciting that we can move it to activate different spaces around Canberra, and it’s great getting people into new venues. You don’t just have to be a market stall to trade with us, you can be a café or a restaurant, a winery, baker or brewer – there’s no restrictions.”
For Belinda – The Forage is also part of the broader story of food in Canberra; a swell of public interest and business creativity that’s transforming the Capital. “We are creating our own culture and vibe here in Canberra, and it’s great to be a part of it. It’s really exciting to see our city to evolve, and to watch our food get us on the map.”
The Forage’s vibrant and ever-changing nature allows it to flex and grow with Canberra’s trends – keeping the concept relevant and interesting. “A lot of opportunities come our way, and we roll with it organically. The Forage grew from something very small, and has now exceeded all our expectations. It’s taken us on a crazy ride and it’s so worth it.”