Shopping heaven! But not without some angst.
It's a Sunday market, says incoming Market Central Taupō operator Kaz Cederwall. Meanwhile the current operator of the Taupō Market, Monika Geister, is determined to find a new site and continue on with a Saturday market.
Monika and husband Hermann went through what she describes as a gruelling and frustrating application process to operate Taupō Market from 2020 onwards. With the current Taupo Market site at Upper Riverside Park unavailable after the end of this year, successful applicant Kaz Cederwall beat four other contenders to operate out of Northcroft Reserve in a shared space with Segway Tour.
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In a quest to find a suitable venue, the Geisters had three appointments on Tuesday to find the right location to operate a Saturday market. Monika says fear of upsetting the Taupō District Council is a common theme from those controlling a potential market site. For Monika an out-of-town market is not an attractive option as she cares about Taupō town centre.
"Wherever we go we will come up against the council, one way or another. The less we have to do with them the better. They will not be supportive."
She says it is not just her business at stake, but the livelihoods of 180 or so vendors who come to the market on a regular basis.
"We are very much humbled by the unyielding support I am getting from the community. Most of the vendors want us to carry on."
Five years ago the Geisters bought the business from then-operator (and Kaz's mother-in-law) Sue Rauch, with 20 vendors on board. Since then they have grown the Taupō Market to an average 50 vendors (last weekend there were 80 vendors).
When negotiations between the council and the Geisters over a new market venue failed to progress, three of the market vendors approached the council to get the lease on behalf of Monika and Hermann. Monika says the vendors were "absolutely gobsmacked" to not be successful.
Incoming Market Central Taupō operator Kaz Cederwall says running markets is in her blood, having first got the bug when Sue ran the market. Seeing the ad in the paper for an operator for a market in Taupō, Kaz thought to herself 'this is me'.
Passionate about Taupō, Kaz says she hasn't run a market before but has run events, run tours in Europe and loved working in mental health where she helped rehabilitate people back into the community.
Running the market on Sunday was a decision Kaz came to after speaking with many people.
"Everyone I asked said Saturday sport and Saturday work commitments stop them coming to the market. Plus, all the events are on Saturday. A Sunday market will be more family friendly and will still capture out-of-towners."
For Kaz the market is about connections, and says she wants to create a really cool space for connections.
She says the new location at Northcroft Reserve means the market will never be displaced by events such as the BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge. The idea is to run a few events and see how it goes, then the council will put in footpaths and the power. Undaunted by the chill from the south, Kaz says the market will be orientated away from the wind.
Potentially 150 stall holders will fit onto Northcroft Reserve. Enquiries from new businesses are coming in and Kaz says to expect some interesting food concepts. In the pipeline are quick-cut hairdressers and interactive stalls where market goers can book in a half hour session with an art class.
Aiming for zero waste, foodies can expect to rent cutlery and plates, and bringing your own bag will be promoted.
Two and half weeks into the new role, Kaz is looking for local growers and suppliers to help reduce the carbon footprint. She has accepted 40 vendors so far, and has a requirement that stall holders have a direct input into their product to prevent importers or resellers.
"I want people growing produce in the community to be able to sell produce to people living in the community," says Kaz.
* Market Central Taupō will have a grand opening on the Northcroft Reserve, Lake Terrace, on Sunday, January 5, 2020 from 9am to 1pm, and every Sunday after.