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Juan Carlos Moll - Manager at Mercat de l'Olivar

The man in charge of the daily running of the market

Ana Hernández | Mallorca Editor | Published: 10 May 2019

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Juan Carlos Moll - Manager at Mercat de l'Olivar

Mercat de l'Olivar is much more than a traditional market. Located in the centre of Palma's old town, it's been at the heart of the city's daily life for over 65 years providing fresh, local produce to Mallorca's dwellers and visitors.

The market has also known how to adapt to new times, expanding its offer and services. Fully renovated in 2003, the Mercat de l'Olivar has retained its historical features but adapted to contemporary needs. Not only can you find here the best Mallorcan produce, from fruit & veg to meat, fish, cheese, freshly baked pastries, nuts, sweets and flowers; there are also several bars and food stalls within the building serving tapas, drinks, oysters, sushi, cakes and local cuisine, a great place to stop for lunch or a snack and mingle with the locals.

We talked to Juan Carlos Moll, the market's manager, to know more about this wonderful establishment that's been a meeting point for Mallorquins and tourists alike for decades, as well as the place to come for the freshest local produce on the island.

A traditional market in the heart of Palma

Tell us a little bit about Mercat de l'Olivar – what you offer and where you're based
Located in Palma's Plaza del Olivar, in the heart of the city, Mercat de l'Olivar is a traditional market offering the best fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese and charcuterie. It also has a wide range of culinary offerings, as well as an ever-growing shopping arcade.

How long have you worked as general manager at Mercat de l'Olivar? What's your role within the management of the market?
I've been working at Mercat de l'Olivar since June 2003. My role as general manager is to ensure that all the services within the market work perfectly, that clients feel at home here and that shopping in the market is an enjoyable experience rather than just part of your everyday routine.

It's one of the most important markets on the island, especially in Palma. What makes the Mercat de l'Olivar so special? What sets it apart from everyone else?
Mercat de l'Olivar has been at the Mallorcans' service, as well as the island's visitors, since 1951, which means that it's become part of Mallorca's culture. The market has also reinvented itself throughout the years blending the best of the island's traditional cuisine with contemporary trends.

A little bit of history

The market was open in 1951. Tell us a bit about its history.
Mercat de l'Olivar is located in Palma's old town. Built in 1951 following a traditional Mediterranean style, it's flooded with light. It's made out of two spaces standing side by side and merging onto an open square, not only the ideal space for transitioning but also a great meeting place. Between 2000 and 2003, the market was fully renovated and a new four-story car park accommodating up to 400 vehicles was constructed.

What recent changes have been made to the market to modernise it and draw more customers in?
The market embraces all current trends, coming from all places. There is an ample culinary offer, not only national but also international, and its services are always improving to make the shopping process smoother for our customers.

Local produce & delicious food

What can you find in the market? Are Mallorcan products featured prominently? Where does the produce come from?
Whenever someone wants to buy the highest-quality, freshest local produce knows that Mercat de l'Olivar is the places to go. There are not only seasonal, km0 fuit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese, cold meats and much more available here, but we also have an endless variety of carefully selected produce from the four corners of the world.

There are not only produce stalls but also places where you can eat, is that right? What sort of cuisines can we find here?
The number of stalls offering food to eat within the market is only getting larger and more varied. From traditional tapas, aperitivos and local Mallorcan and Spanish cuisine, to stalls specialised in oysters, fresh fish, sushi or vermouth to name but a few.

Visiting the market

What sort of people comes to the market?
Mercat de l'Olivar has, on one hand, a faithful customer base of families who have been shopping here for several generations, a tradition that has been passed on from parents to children. But also the new inhabitants of Palma who appreciate the quality of the produce we offer and want to know exactly what they're eating. We also welcome a large number of tourists, drawn to the market by the ample offer of fresh produce they can eat at any of the food stalls in the market.

What would you recommend someone should do when visiting the market for the first time?
I'd just tell them to let their sense of smell and sight be the guides from the very moment they enter the market. Then, let taste lead them and try the products they might want to take home as souvenirs, or just enjoy a leisurely lunch or snack at any of the market's restaurant stalls.

You also organise regular events, from tastings to workshops and show cooking. What inspires them? Anything happening in the next few months?
The Mercat de l’Olivar's upper floor is where the 'Espai Gastronòmic' or 'Culinary Space' is located. A multipurpose room of around 400m2, this space is dedicated to hosting tastings, workshops and all sorts of food-related events. This is where we organise our super popular workshops, show cookings and tastings.

More inspiration...

No visit to Palma is complete without popping into Mercat de l'Olivar to buy some fresh local cheese or almonds to take back home, enjoy a classic vermouth and a tapa before lunch or indulge on some coffee and cake.

Visit the Market