‘LOAVES’ a ‘leap’ for Ash­hurst mar­ket

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KING, LEAP

Now in its sec­ond sea­son, the Ash­hurst Com­mu­nity mar­ket is keep­ing cus­tomers com­ing with its com­mu­nity feel and unique ap­proach.

The mar­ket has 25 to 30 sell­ers a month of­fer­ing a range of crafts, plants, great food, cof­fee, and live mu­sic. Sited in the heart of Ash­hurst on the Vil­lage Green and in the Ash­hurst Li­brary gar­dens, it is a re­laxed event, where cus­tomers have the op­por­tu­nity to talk di­rectly to the peo­ple who cre­ate their pur­chases.

The mar­kets of­ten have a spe­cial theme, usu­ally sea­sonal or fes­tive. The May mar­ket will see a cel­e­bra­tion of har­vest and pro­duce, and the June event will be a mid­win­ter Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion.

Over­seen by the So­ci­ety for the Lo­cal Econ­omy of Ash­hurst and Po­hang­ina Inc (LEAP), its fo­cus is on show­cas­ing the tal­ents of small lo­cal Ash­hurst-Po­hang­ina busi­nesses and help­ing build lo­cal econ­omy. The so­ci­ety is run by lo­cal Ash­hurst and Po­hang­ina vol­un­teers pas­sion­ate about the area and what it has to of­fer.

LEAP’s other ven­tures in­clude the launch of a lo­cal cur­rency known as ‘LOAVES’ - short for Lo­cal Orig­i­nal Ash­hurst Vol­un­tary Ex­change System. Fea­tured in na­tional me­dia the LOAVES con­cept is start­ing to gen­tly cir­cu­late around the Vil­lage.

With a gen­er­ous grant from the PNCC Lo­cal Ini­tia­tives Fund it’s hoped to soon pub­lish a com­mu­nity busi­ness direc­tory.

As LEAP chair­per­son and mar­ket con­venor I am ex­cited about the fu­ture of the projects, the pop­u­lar­ity of the mar­ket and what this po­ten­tially means for Ash­hurst. It’s a place where peo­ple can linger con­verse and en­joy, and where chil­dren are wel­come and catered for.

There are a myr­iad of small busi­nesses in Ash­hurst and Po­hang­ina of­fer­ing qual­ity goods and ser­vices. It is fan­tas­tic to have op­por­tu­ni­ties like the mar­ket and LOAVES to help th­ese get ex­po­sure and to build com­mu­nity con­nect­ed­ness and re­la­tion­ships.

The next Ash­hurst Com­mu­nity Mar­ket takes place rain or shine on Satur­day Fe­bru­ary 11 from 10am-1pm. En­try is free with pur­chases by cash or LOAVES only.


Stall of Ed­i­ble, a lo­cal Ash­hurst busi­ness spe­cial­is­ing in her­itage fruit trees, at the Ash­hurst Com­mu­nity Mar­ket.

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