New boss has grand vi­sion for Mar­ket

The Advertiser - - NEWS - ROBYN DOU­GLASS LIFE­STYLE ED­I­TOR

BARELY three weeks into the job as gen­eral man­ager of the Ade­laide Cen­tral Mar­ket, Jodie Kan­nane has been find­ing it hard to do her shop­ping – stall­hold­ers and cus­tomers are so keen to stop for a chat.

“I go out to buy some fruit and it takes me 45 min­utes,” she said.

But that’s part of the job she is en­joy­ing – un­der­stand­ing the soul of the mar­ket.

“My first month is mak­ing sure that I have touched base with all the traders and the other stake­hold­ers,” she said.

Ms Kan­nane had been wor­ried they may not be keen to share their points of view, but has been pleased at how wel­com­ing peo­ple have been.

“It doesn’t mean that they are not go­ing to chal­lenge me,” she said. “We will have some ro­bust dis­cus­sions over time – but these are traders who’ve been here for gen­er­a­tions, who are pas­sion­ate about what they do and have tremen­dous depth of knowl­edge as to how the mar­ket works and who the shop­pers are.”

Ms Kan­nane has al­ways lived in Ade­laide and en­joys be­ing part of the world’s fifth most live­able city. “It sounds like a statis­tic but it’s a great place to live and work,” she said.

With a back­ground in cor­po­rate re­tail and in tourism with Sealink, Ms Kan­nane is sen­si­tive to the mar­ket’s heart in our com­mu­nity, but also as a unique city pro­duce mar­ket.

“It’s not a shop­ping cen­tre,” she said. “The vi­sion of the mar­ket is to be the world’s lead­ing fresh food and pro­duce mar­ket.

“Although the mar­ket has adapted over its 150-year pe­riod, and we need to make those ad­just­ments to meet con­sumer needs – like eater­ies … the vi­sion re­mains the same.

“We don’t want to change the soul of the mar­ket. That’s why peo­ple come here.”

Some of the chal­lenges ahead in­clude Sun­day trad­ing – a trial was re­cently ve­toed by a meet­ing with traders’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Ms Kan­nane ac­knowl­edged that trad­ing hours in gen­eral are up for dis­cus­sion.

“Shop­pers are chang­ing the way they spend their time and money,” she said. “We’ve had a sig­nif­i­cant amount of in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion over the years: Su­per­mar­ket up­grades, new su­per­mar­ket chains, Uber eats, OTR. We need to make sure we are re­ally con­sid­er­ing what that com­pe­ti­tion looks like, with­out chang­ing the soul of what the mar­ket is.”

The other chal­lenge for the mar­ket was re­de­vel­op­ment in sur­round­ing ar­eas, both near the mar­ket and the city around it. “We need to work well with the precinct and … out to the city of Ade­laide,” she said.

Pic­ture: BRENTON ED­WARDS/AAP

FRESH IDEAS: The Ade­laide Cen­tral Mar­ket’s new gen­eral man­ager Jodie Kan­nane with some of its top-qual­ity pro­duce.

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