Background Globally, the challenges of confronting poverty and unemployment continue to dominate the development agenda. The South African government has sought to incorporate local economic development (LED) into their economic development framework. Guesthouses can contribute to LED through procurement of locally produced products and services for their operations. Objectives The objective of this article was to determine the fresh produce purchasing behaviour and supply chains of guesthouses in the Greater Johannesburg metropolitan area, and to ascertain their attitudes towards purchasing fresh produce from urban farmers in and around the Soweto area. Method A quantitative survey was conducted in the Greater Johannesburg metropolitan area amongst guesthouses in close proximity to the urban farmers in and around Soweto. Qualitative interviews with urban farmers were conducted to ascertain the fruit and vegetable crops propagated in order to attempt to match the supply of urban farmers with the demand of guesthouses. Results Several constructive outcomes are obtained. The fresh produce purchasing behaviour of guesthouses in the Johannesburg area is better understood. There is a willingness on the part of guesthouses to change their fresh produce purchasing behaviour. After establishing the fresh produce production in the Soweto area, there are possibilities for matching the fresh produce production with the fresh produce needs of guesthouses. Conclusion Although there may be a number of challenges relating to the sale and type of fresh produce from urban farmers to guesthouses in the Johannesburg area, there are possibilities for trade.