A new broom is sweeping through Silverdale market, and not everyone is welcoming the changes.
The market, which is held on Silverdale Street on Saturdays, is believed to have started in the early 1980s, providing a gathering place for locals. The range on offer includes fruit, vegetables, flowers and meat as well as second hand items, books, crafts and home baking.
Stalls run along the lower part of Silverdale Street, as well as inside Silverdale Hall. Stalls located on the hall property are managed by a hall committee (with proceeds going to charity), with the rest managed by the Silverdale Area Business Association.
Recently the business association advised its stallholders that prices for those using a gazebo will double to $30, while tables remain at $15 (stalls in the hall area are not affected).
At the same time it was announced that a new manager has been employed – Sarah Compain of My Markets. Sarah also runs markets in Orewa, as well as on the North Shore. Her role at Silverdale is partly funded by the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.
The changes ruffled the feathers of some long time stallholders but business association secretary Carole McMinn says the prices had been the same for many years and are now in line with what other markets charge.
She says all the money that comes in from the market is put back into developing the market and that with the new manager will come a more ‘artisan’ feel.
“We want to bring in artisans looking to turn hobbies into small businesses,” Carole says. “Change is always difficult, but we believe this will bring a new vibrancy,” she says.
Sarah took over management on November 24. She is enthusiastic about the market’s potential and says she plans to bring in entertainment, including a bouncy castle and buskers as well as new stalls. She says there is the potential to extend further down Agency Lane, in a big U-shape.
“Currently there are about 15 stalls, so a lot of room for growth,” she says. “It’s a great little market – when I visited I got my week’s worth of fruit, veggies, delicious slices and eggs.”
One stallholder, who did not wish to be named, told the paper that it will be important for the new manager and business association to make the existing stallholders feel secure and valued as the changes take place. “Some good communication is needed,” she says. “There are concerns as to whether the promised ‘new vitality’ will really happen and increase sales, or whether stallholders will just pay more.”