Monday, 5 March 2012

The Peel Farmer's Market

I take oil and table olives to the market in Mandurah once a month.  These markets have had a chequered history.  They initially started in Pinjarra, then a secondary market started under the same umbrella on the western foreshore at Mandurah - a great venue, with trees, water views and lots of passing traffic.  But no winter cover and a long walk to toilets!  The Pinjarra market got smaller and smaller, and eventually disappeared entirely.  Then negotiations with the Mandurah City Council over the foreshore site got bogged down.  The proposed rent got higher to the extent the stall holders could not cover it.  The Council suggested another venue which combined the Farmer's Market with a general market, but for various reasons such as inability to leave our vehicles at the stalls, this fell through.  We ended up at the Peel education campus on the fringes of town.  Great shelter, no rent, free electricity, and good vehicle access (and toilets!)  Trouble was only the most dedicated of our regular foodies could find us. Now we are located at Dolphin Quays, in a pedestrian mall surrounded by cafes and boutiques, next to a Marina.  Lots of people come there for breakfast and coffees.  And a lot of them have disposable income, so we are hoping that we will build up a customer base.  It is really difficult to attract stall holders though.  Our brief is that we have to be producers, and local.  If you have been working on your property all week it is hard to get up early, drive, set up and stand on your feet for 4 hours talking to customers on Sunday!  There is also a lot of competition among markets now.  In Perth there are at least 6, some very big.  Some of our stallholders also go to one or other of these.  The very nature of Farmer's Markets means that they are seasonal.  Yesterday we had a macadamia producer, but he will disappear soon, so will the vegetable growers when their summer crops finish and the winter ones aren't ready.  The blueberry people have gone already.  If you fall below a certain number of stalls, the customers sniff the smell of failure...  So Farmer's Markets - great principle, difficult actuality

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that there was such a Market so close to where I live...most of the ones we have heard of are all NOR and too far to traipse to on a regular basis when you have Sports to attend year round. I'd be quite keen to check this market of yours out :)