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Market draws a crowd but does it take more than it gives?

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The proprietor of a Yandina coffee shop believes a popular weekend market is drawing trade from local businesses and taking money out of the town.

The claims by Kaye Deeley, from Lawn Espresso in Farrell Street, raise questions about whether the Yandina Country Markets are a drawcard for the town or have become competition.

“They take customers away from us,” Ms Deeley said.

“The change happened with Covid, and the market went from being a secondhand market, a community-based market, and it became a food market,” she said.

“What happened then is that all of the businesses that operated in the town were replicated in the market.”

As examples of duplication in the markets, Ms Deeley cited stalls selling pet foods and products when the same was already sold by produce shops, a florist when there was already a florist in town, and numerous fruit and vegetable stalls when there was already a greengrocer in town.

Sunshine Coast News contacted several other Yandina business owners but none were opposed to the market.

Representatives from two produce stores said the market drew people who shopped at their businesses while in town.

Kismet cafe owner Georgia Pearson said most of her Saturday customers were popping in on the way to or from the market and “it’s great for the town”.

Andrew Shea, proprietor of Yandina Market Garden fruit and vegetable store, said he was aware of a number of fruit and vegetable vendors at the market but could not quantify any effect it had on his business.

“I’m agnostic about it,” he said.

Market convenor Wayne Watts said the market would not exist if it was entirely Yandina stallholders but all except four or five of the up to 130 stallholders were from the Sunshine Coast and Caboolture areas.

Flowers and plants for sale at the Yandina markets.

He said the market had existed for more than 30 years, longer than many businesses in town, and proceeds from the market stall fees went back into the Nambour Yandina United Football Club.

Mr Watts said the market was a drawcard for the town.

“We bring in a thousand more people on a Saturday than would ever, ever go to Yandina in a whole week,” he said.

Nambour Yandina United president Jeff McColl said the market brought people to Yandina.

“There’s be nobody in town on a Saturday morning without us,” he said.

Mr McColl said the money from the market went into a trust fund that sporting clubs in the precinct could apply to for grants.

He found it hard to accept the market presented competition for businesses in town given Ms Deeley was the only one who had voiced an issue, coffee had always been sold at the market and there were a number of other venues in Yandina selling coffee.

Ms Deeley said money spent at the markets went out of Yandina with the stallholders, who did not pay overheads, and most of whom were not from the area.

“Yes, everyone has a right to have a business but we’re the ones that support the town. Money that I make is spent at the butchery, the bakery, the greengrocer, the IGA that keeps local people employed,” she said.

“I can’t contribute money to the local community groups that need sponsorship if I’m losing half my trade on a Saturday to out-of-towners who don’t put money back in.”

Stevens Street, Yandina, on a Saturday morning.

Business Yandina president Bill Gissane acknowledged the positives of the market but also that not all businesses benefitted from the weekly event.

“We’ve very grateful for the extra customers they bring to town. They do a great job,” said Mr Gissane, who would like to steer more marketgoers into Yandina.

He said the chamber of commerce hoped to work with the market organisers so the event would benefit Yandina as a whole.

“We’re very sympathetic to Kaye’s problems and that’s one of the reasons we want to bring in the market so we can work out a mutually beneficial solution and keep things profitable for everyone,” he said.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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