Rapt to be back at M’boro market
"THIS is fabulous, wonderful! I'm just so happy to be back at the Maryborough market," stallholder Catherine Rose from Baupal Park Farm near Gympie said.
Ms Rose was among the dozens of stall holders rapt about the iconic craft and fresh produce market reopening today (Thursday, May 28) after being closed since March due to COVID-19.
This followed State Government advice that outdoor markets were now allowed under COVIDSafe distancing restrictions.
"Reopening is good not just for the economy but also for people's psyche to get out in the sunshine and interact with other people again," Mr Rose said.
"Being on a farm, I'm kind of self-isolated most of the time anyway so this is social occasion for me. I'm so excited to be back."
The organic macadamia farmer from Chatsworth, 10km north of Gympie, has been a regular stallholder at the weekly Maryborough market for more than a year.
Aside from the COVID-19 closure, the only time Ms Rose hasn't brought her products to the market was during January's quiet period.
"But come July, I'll have a little break to do the harvest."
Ms Rose said that in March, she was stunned to hear the news markets had to close to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
"Like a lot of people, I had to stop and readjust. Maybe I was in a luckier position than others because I got to reassess my business models and start moving ahead with different areas.
"We now do a market on a Sunday at the farm. We've also started doing Saturday home deliveries from Noosa to Maryborough. Online orders have started to pick up, and we're doing wholesale.
"There were lots of business models we had to tweak - that's just survival. If we didn't do that, we wouldn't survive in business."
Ms Rose's products include macadamia shortbread biscuits, macadamia banana bread, roasted nut butter, chocolate nut butter and roasted Baupal pesto. Soon there will be macadamia satay and a white chocolate macadamia spread as well.
Markets organiser, Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, is working with stallholders keen to return to the market.
Stalls are being spaced according to Queensland Health COVID-Safe regulations under stage 1 of the road map to easing Queensland's restrictions.
Stallholders wanting to apply for a market permit should call Telaine Feeney on 0419 674 710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.