New Saturday morning market launches in city
The founder of a new Saturday morning market believes there is plenty of room in Palmerston North for multiple markets.
The Royal Market launched on Saturday morning in the UCOL car park and its manager Brian Little said it would cater to a niche audience.
Little said he was happy with stallholder interest, but the new market would likely start slowly.
The focus would be on vendors selling their crafts, art, clothing and homemade food products, and ‘‘garage sale’’ type stalls. There would also be hot food and a smaller number of fruit and vegetable stalls.
Little said he was anxious about his market being perceived as competition to the longrunning Albert St Market and hoped his venture would draw different types of stalls.
‘‘I hope the customers will continue to go and get their fruit and veges from Albert St, and then will decide to go and have a look at the other one, and then everyone wins.’’
Albert Street Market manager Tony Trainor did not wish to comment on the new venture, but it is understood some vendors from Albert St planned to shift to the Royal Market.
Little said he initially had planned for the market to be held on Sunday after he heard rumours of the Sunday Cloverlea market closing.
However, Cloverlea Market owner operator Maruna Engu said while the Cloverlea Tavern had sold, the market was shifting, not closing.
It would operate in the Cloverlea car park until it could shift to one of two undisclosed locations proposed by Palmerston North City Council.
Engu welcomed the Royal Market as another opportunity for local producers and for hyperlocal shopping.
However, he said the city council should organise co-operation and co-ordination between the different weekend markets.
‘‘I just heard about it [ on Friday]. There’s no consultation... so of course that’s going to cause conflict,’’ he said.
Mayor Grant Smith said past attempts to bring market stallholders and operators together had been tried about a year ago, but had failed.
But, ultimately, this was not council’s responsibility, he said.
The new market is on Saturdays from 7am to 1pm.