Always looking for a cultural experience in my city, I recently had dinner at the Polish Club in Milton, which I loved. It was here I found out the Polish Club Brisbane also has a monthly market, which sells Polish food and all kinds of art and crafts. Just last Saturday I paid the markets a visit and was greeted by a warm community and a celebration of all things Polish.
Probably the market’s biggest drawcard for me was the food, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ll straight up say the food highlight was the ‘Ugly Duckling Caterer’ stall, which I basically filled up at. The Ugly Duckling Caterer has many baked goodies on sale, but as I told the lady at the stall I was more of a savoury person, she recommended some sour plum goodies to me.
So, I had the rogaliki – which were mini croissants with plum jam – and doughnuts filled with sour plum jam, both which were excellent. I also had a chat with a Polish guy who was selling his wife’s Polish cheesecakes. They looked amazing, but I wasn’t interested in buying a whole cake this morning. Maybe next time.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try a Polish sausage, as I filled up on Polish pastry as a second breakfast, so I was already stuffed. Word has it, however, that the sausages here are the real drawcard. So if you’re feeling like a quality Saturday sausage, complete with Polish condiments, definitely come and check them out. Something else I need to come back for.
Polish Club Brisbane – The People
I’m not always feeling social but I’m glad I was on Saturday because I had a chat with quite a few stall owners/Polish-born locals and as it turned out, this was the highlight of the markets for me. I had a really nice chat with Maria Agoston, who is a talented Polish-born artist/poet who sells her artwork at the Polish Club Brisbane monthly markets. She told me some interesting Brisbane stories and tentatively invited me to a poetry reading at her local meetup.
Down the back of the store was a long table selling all kinds of Polish-sourced items, which included mugs, aprons, underpants, jewellery, notepads, you name it. This was the stall of Outback Polaks, which is owned by the Vice President of the Polish Association of QLD, Pawel. I was introduced to Pawel through his friend Amanda (pictured below).
Both Pawel and Amanda were friendly and down to earth, and as she is a UI/UX designer and Pawel is a videographer/vlogger on the side, we had a bit to chat about. Pawel’s merchandise is either from Poland (as he makes regular trips there), or he makes it himself. So if you’re looking for some authentic Polish wares, this is the place to get them.
Pawel also told me that he and Amanda donate a portion of their business profits from Outback Polaks to volunteer firefighters in Poland.
Other Stall Owners
I also had a chat with the lady below (whose name I forgot) at her stall, where she sells her artwork. She told me she combines painting, drawing and digital design to create her art, which is mostly of birdlife in the area. As you can see from the photo below, she’s another talented local artist.
Lastly, I chatted with Jolanta at her stall Raw Home, which sells locally-produced honey, candles, soaps, high-quality linen, textile art, fibre art, ceramics, porcelain, jewellery, silver, metal, textile jewellery, handprinted fabrics and cultural heritage linking textile patters to the country’s design and practices. Raw Home is an independent Australian business whose fibres are grown sustainably and ecologically in the Baltic region. You can check it out here.
I was glad I made the effort to get out of my comfort zone and talk to the market regulars, as it gave me much more of a sense of community in the markets. I have a feeling I might see these people again…
The Polish Club Brisbane monthly markets are on the ground floor of the club’s building in Milton. The markets themselves are held in one large room but there’s also an outdoor area where patrons can sit and chat in the sunshine over a sour plum doughnut and a Polish sausage. The courtyard is also where the BBQ action takes place so it’s a lively little spot every month.
The monthly Polish market – which is organised by the Polish Association of QLD, in collaboration with volunteers – is small, but it’s got a big heart and it’s unique. It’s worth at least 30 minutes of your time, so get yourself down there and take a look. The market is open on a Saturday every month, from 9 am to 1 pm. Take a look at the Polish Club’s website to find out the exact dates.
Check out my video below to get the general market vibe.