Our community’s beloved Mushroom Farm has mushroomed – literally.
Conveniently located on Kassier Road in Assagay, just off the M13, The Mushroom Farm offers something for everyone. It’s easy to spend a good couple of hours at this family-owned and run farmyard gem – even if your intention was just to pop in for fresh vegetables.
“Our family has a very long history with farming mushrooms. The centre has evolved over time and new shops have opened, but family space is at its core,” says Julie Aitken. “We have such a variety of stores – from thrifting and second-hand books to leather goods, furniture and garden pots,” she adds. “We are also one of the very few centres to have a dedicated honey shop and a mushroom farmstall.”
The farm was originally home to Chef Mushrooms. “We grew mushrooms and made compost on this site, and the original mushroom farmstall was at the gate. During the festive season, we also used to sell Christmas trees grown at our family home, Clear Springs Farm,” says Julie.
“A nursery was then added on to the farmstall – all the plants initially grown at Clear Springs Farm as well.”
The Aitken family were farmers from Zululand. However, in the late 80s Dave and Dee, along with their three sons, relocated to Hillcrest to join Dee’s father, Athol Webster, who was a mushroom farmer in the area. “The Webster family were pioneers in the commercialisation of mushroom farming in South Africa, and together with Athol, Dave and Dee grew Chef Mushrooms.”
The Mushroom Farmstall had been operating out of a tiny wooden cabin for many years. “Slowly, as we tapered off farming mushrooms, we began leasing the old mushroom-growing sheds and eventually the composting sheds to various businesses,” says Julie.
One such business, which is still thriving at the farm, is The Veggie Shop, which initially distributed vegetables to restaurants and shops. Visitors coming to buy mushrooms then started buying their fresh veggies at the farm too, and The Veggie Shop was born. “Other shops, such as Garden Decor and Peel’s Honey, then made their homes at the farm – followed by GoFresh Café. The centre literally ‘mushroomed’ and today there are a variety of shops and services on offer.”
The Mushroom Farm’s country feel and unique mix of shops sets it apart from other shopping destinations. “You can have a cup of coffee while a rooster pecks the croissant crumbs at your feet. You can do your veggie shopping and then share your carrots with a goat or bunny on your way to your car. You can pop in for beautiful fresh flowers or bread, get something framed or even try on some hand-crafted leather shoes,” says Julie – adding that her favourite thing to do is sitting on the bench with a coffee while watching the ducks enjoying their pond.
“We are lucky to have a variety of shoppers visit us. Some come regularly to do their weekly grocery shopping, while some travel from afar to specifically buy something for their garden, home, horses or pets. Others come to leisurely browse treasures and trinkets. And then some come to play in Maddison’s fabulous play area – or simply just to pat Bob the goat,” says Julie.
Hoping to expand their kid’s entertainment offering with some exciting new ideas, Julie says they have a few kids’ activities lined up for the Christmas holidays. So keep your eyes on their Facebook page!
FOR MORE INFO:
BROWSE THE TENANTS AT THE MUSHROOM FARM
A. E. Wright
An Aladdin’s Cave of yesteryear’s treasures, trading in pre-loved solid wooden quality furniture, artworks and decor.
Eco-sustainable, timelessly classic products which are unique and affordable.
- Jacqui 072 394 2346 | Louis 031 332 8511
Storewide Spring Sale: 10% discount on all items (lay-by excluded).
A fireplace and braai shop with a twist … Not only do we have the BEST Yellow Fat Biltong in town, but we also carry a large variety of niche organic meat products.
All our meat is sourced from local farmers, as it’s important to us to support other local businesses while bringing quality products to our community.
Call Kerry: 064 156 5702
We are a family-run business with more than 20 years’ expertise in framing. We frame your treasures, including artworks, mirrors, memorabilia, puzzles etc., with care.
Our collection of stunning decor items are great gifts – treat a friend or loved one or add flair to your own home.
- Nadine Framer: 083 775 2401
Garden Décor Zone
Garden Décor Zone offers garden lovers a huge selection of ceramic, concrete and clay pots – as well as fountains and water features, bonsais, statues, pit fires, fairy gardens and possibly the biggest choice of décor for the garden in South Africa. We love gardening, and it shows.
- 031 768 1470 | 072 297 4946 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Locally made 100% recycled plastic handcrafted outdoor patio furniture. Designed for comfort and style for you to enjoy all year round.
Visit our showroom to design your dream patio area.
- Heidi 071 193 2218 | www.envirotimbers.com
GoFresh Café offers a variety of meal options for breakfasts and lunches. We cater for most dietary requirements – such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
The GoFresh team is committed to giving friendly service and serving only top-quality products. Our venue offers indoor and fresh outdoor seating suitable for all family members, including your dog.
- 072 907 1854 | Mon-Fri 8am-4pm and Sat-Sun 8am-2pm
An interesting concept offering both low carb/sugar-free/gluten-free/diabetic foods as well as high carb food options. Our trained chefs specialise in real, old-school food, such as lemon curd, apple crumbles and old-fashioned mayonnaises, as well as delicious homestyle frozen meals. On weekends our bakery is filled with old favourites, and the best homemade pies in town!
- 031 768 1281 | 031 563 5080 | email@example.com
An eclectic vintage store with a nostalgic sense of the past. Fun and fabulous pre-loved clothing, jewellery and accessories. Vintage collectables and a great selection of vinyl records, CDs, turntables, amps and speakers.
A scratch patch of old silver cutlery, and some lovely pieces of furniture. Thrifting heaven!
- Jacqui 072 394 2346
Maddison’s Bakery & Café
Maddison’s Bakery, a household name that depicts good quality rolls, breads and croissants, now has a shop at The Mushroom Farm. The same love, quality and dedication has been poured into the shop/bakery as well as the kiddies play area. Come and enjoy our country-feel bakery and café, while your little ones play safely.
- Ryan 082 452 0943
Not just a honey shop! Our farmstall and gift shop offers a variety of treats ranging from honeys to honey brittles, honeycomb, beeswax, nougats, biscuits, homemade preserves, goat’s milk, free-range meats, chicken and eggs.
- Julie 031 768 1366
Milestone Hardware & Paving
Milestone Paving is a family-owned and run paving manufacturing business. We manufacture paving, curbing, retaining blocks and wall cladding. We have recently added a little hardware store to our business, supplying your DIY hardware needs, which we will continue to grow. We look forward to meeting you and your family!
- Claire 071 677 4004 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Reading Rooster
A nostalgic and quaint shop that offers book lovers, both young and old, an opportunity to find some hidden gems and give a home to good quality second-hand books at affordable prices.
There is a book waiting for you at the Reading Rooster! All proceeds go to the Kloof and Highway SPCA.
- Vivien 079 695 0299
A brand new decor gem based inside Fabricata, with an emphasis on bringing colours and textures together with cushions, lamps and lampshades, and highlighting stories with elegant mirrors. Sam and Lorraine have experience in decor – adding ideas and advice when consulting with clients.
- Sam 082 321 4556 | Lorraine 082 801 8878
The Grandis Boardroom
Needing somewhere to host your meeting or event? The Grandis Room is a multifunctional meeting room with state-of-the-art technology. There’s seating for up to 12 guests in a boardroom configuration, or up to 30 guests in a cinema-style setup.
- 087 353 9895 | email@example.com
Retail goodies from all over the world! Shambala stocks a big range of Nepalese singing bowls, funky clothing and accessories, incense, crystals and more. Here you will find very unusual gifts for the whole family. We accept major credit cards and issue gift vouchers. Lay-by available.
- Philippe 083 952 6254
The Mushroom Shop & Nursery
This quaint little mushroom farmstall has been at the heart of The Mushroom Farm for 30 years! Apart from stocking a variety of white, brown and oyster mushrooms, the nursery offers a range of veggie and flower seedlings and succulents as well as indoor and outdoor plants. Various composts including mushroom compost are also on offer.
- Mali 031 768 2143
Spence & Mae
A local brand hub-style store passionate about providing a space for some of our country’s finest brands to showcase their incredible merchandise. On visiting our space, you will find a selection of only the best quality goods, ranging from ladies’ wear to home decor, fresh flowers, lifestyle products and kids clothing and toys.
- Lisa Burn: 082 339 7695 / 083 581 8507
The Veggie Shop
Providers of a wide variety of organic and ethically grown fresh produce, antibiotic and hormone-free meat and dairy products, artisanal bottled and baked goods, gluten-free products, GMO-free grain products, as well as organic herbs, spices, beverages and health products.
- Grant 031 768 1877