Markets back with bumper reopening

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Vasse Markets organising committee Cath Miller, Brooke Hopkins, Bill and Janie Lingard and Lynn Skidmore
Camera IconVasse Markets organising committee Cath Miller, Brooke Hopkins, Bill and Janie Lingard and Lynn Skidmore Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

The oldest markets in the South West, the Vasse Markets, returned to trading a fortnight ago with great success after almost six months closed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

In October a group of stallholders formed a co-operative to run the Vasse Markets on the first and third Saturdays of the month, selling products they grow, bake or make. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the new owners, the markets enjoyed a resurgence at the start of 2020, with new stallholders and new initiatives including an online store, regular car boot sales and fundraising events.

When the City Busselton required the closure of markets in March because of COVID-19 the resurgence was put on hold until Saturday under a modified layout with a COVID-safe plan.

Vasse Markets organising committee Bill and Janie Lingard, Lynn Skidmore, Cath Miller and Brooke Hopkins have worked tirelessly since late March to reopen the market.

“It was quite devastating because we’d spent four months trying to build it back up and we’d just grown from 20 stalls to 50 and to be forced to close was soul destroying,” Ms Miller said.

“I had my best day in six years on Saturday, my best take in six years and quite a few stallholders said they had their best day ever,” Ms Miller said.

55-year-old Kaloorup goat farmer Cath Miller is now focused on helping to restore the Vasse Markets to their former glory. Cath has been a regular at the market for almost 6 years, selling soaps she makes from her own fresh goats milk and local olive oil from Wulura.

“Some of our stallholders have been supporting the markets for 20 or 30 years, so there is huge amount of history and affection for the market, it really does feel like a family” she said.

“We’re like an incubator for new local businesses to showcase their products and grow their business.”

The Vasse Markets will open again on Saturday, September 19 from 8am-noon.

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