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About Jan Power

Jan Power Image

“Markets were the heart and soul of cities of old. They were where families connected, where the city met and mingled, argued and loved; and the farmers markets are the modem day incarnation of this, therefore, they are at the heart and soul of Brisbane.”
- Jan Power -

Foodie, commentator and city doyenne Jan Power founded Brisbane’s first farmers market more than 30 years ago, indelibly changing the city’s landscape and setting in motion a food revolution. Jan’s initial markets concept grew from her passion for fresh produce and her long-standing commitment to supporting farmers and their livelihoods.

The Jan Powers Farmers Market Powerhouse was established when Brisbane Powerhouse opened in 2000 and continues operating at the same site to this day, almost a full generation later. It changed the consumer habits of Brisbane residents by presenting them with greater choice, introducing them to farmers and producers and educating them on mindful and sustainable shopping.

Jan singularly campaigned and challenged Brisbane City Council regulations to establish more markets with greater reach and there is now a Jan Powers Farmers Markets held every weekend in Brisbane.

Jan grew up on a farm in Stanthorpe, was educated in Brisbane, trained as a cook in London, and forged a name as Brisbane’s first true foodie. She was a former food editor at The Courier-Mail, a regular guest on television programs and often contributed to radio segments in Brisbane and beyond.

Jan’s vision was to offer more than just premium quality fresh food at each market. She was adamant each Jan Powers Farmers Market would also connect shoppers with farmers, showcase the diversity of food grown and created locally and offer a feel-good, grassroots experience with a welcoming sense of community.

Markets were more than a business to her; they were a passion, a calling that ran in her family’s blood. Jan’s great-grandfather and pre-eminent Brisbane businessman, politician and philanthropist, T C Beirne, ran market stalls in Fortitude Valley in the early 1900s.

When Jan stepped back from running the Jan Powers Farmers Market, her daughter Sammy took over the day-to-day operation until 2019. The family-run business is now managed by Jan’s daughter Astrid Gates and her grand-daughters Emily, Olivia and India Gates.