Redcliffe Farmers and Artisan Markets has grown significantly in the four years Goodwill Projects has been running the weekly event and Managing Director Mark Power says there are plans to achieve further growth in the next five years.
Mark says his team wants to attract more artisans, use digital platforms to increase awareness and partner with more local businesses to continue growth of about 20 per cent attained since they took on the markets in October 2019.
“We want to bring in some programs of attracting really, highly skilled artisans to the markets. COVID was a challenge because we did lose some,” he says.
“We’ve already drawn up a program to try to attract people who don’t necessarily think of a market to come along to (and sell goods) as opposed to signing a three-year lease, paying a six-month deposit, doing a $100,000 fitout … come to a market for less than $800 with all of your equipment.”
Mark says this program will ensure there continues to be broad choice at the markets.
He is also keen to partner more with local businesses in the City of Moreton Bay to highlight the strong features of the area.
“There are a lot of locals who are a part of this market, some terrific vendors, and I think it’s a reflection of aspirational individuals who are giving it a crack,” he explains.
“More often than not people are working five days a week and they come to a market on the weekends (to earn extra money) to get that holiday, pay off that house quicker, buy that brand new car. It’s a wonderful platform for people to have a go and enjoy success.”
Recipe for success
Mark says a strong hospitality background and focus on customers’ needs have helped drive success despite challenges thrown up by COVID-19 just a few months after they started in Redcliffe.
“After April, May, June, when it was extremely difficult, we began to see it as an opportunity. As people’s priorities were shifting, in late 2020 and early 2021, we doubled-down on marketing the market – advertising and promoting the market,” he explains.
“We actually put more budget towards it because we felt like it was an opportunity to procure people away from the major shopping centres into a market.
“It didn’t necessarily need to be for their groceries. It was a way to remind people that this is a really wonderful way for families to get out, enjoy the lifestyle, see this wonderful area in Moreton Bay, socialise with your friends, stop in some of the local businesses which is a key plank of our promotion.”
The markets are now at capacity most Sundays, or close to it, drawing visitors from as far away as Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Gympie.
Five special events per year have increased awareness of the markets and location, and prompted repeat visitation.
“Markets effectively compete with established retail precincts, like a Westfield, Coles and Woolworths. What markets have to do to be special is provide goods that you can’t get in a Westfield,” Mark explains.
Just as important is creating a positive experience for visitors.
“Making sure people feel welcome and it’s inclusive, that it has fabulous choice and that you can just go wandering,” he says.
“You don’t know what you’ll find, you don’t know who you’ll see, you don’t know how long you’ll be here but that’s the magic of creating a really welcoming market. I feel like we’ve been able to deliver that.”
Mark says offering shoppers variety and quality has underpinned the markets’ success.
“At the heart of any market, you’ve got to have a really diverse offering. The word market conjures this sentiment of what will I get, what will I find?
“You might get a bargain, you might get something you need, you might get a present for someone. All those little pieces make what we call the market magic or the market romance.”
Find out more about the Redcliffe Farmers and Artisan Markets.
Construction is officially under way on a new 80-bed youth detention centre at Woodford. ** FREE TO READ **
Businesses are invited to tap into the innovation ecosystem at the city’s newest co-working space at UniSC Moreton Bay. ** FREE TO READ **
Thousands of sick, injured and orphaned animals on Bribie Island have been given a second chance at life thanks to caring people like Reyna Watson and Colleen Ogilvie, who volunteer their time with Wildlife Rescue Queensland. Find out more about the organisation here **FREE TO READ**
Tahlia Mitchell from Bribie Island and Marie Shannon from the Sunshine Coast will showcase their collections at the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre after being selected as the artists of the month for March and April. Learn more about their unique pieces here. **FREE TO READ**