The Whiti Markets have a new Manager, Ronnie James, and she tells a little of her story…
“Doreen Davies, is the legend of markets in Whitianga and after more than thirty years, she has retired. Doreen is an enormous personality and a visionary driver who made the Whiti Markets possible. During Covid, she was not able to organise them with all the restrictions. However, she did hold a Market Day on Anniversary weekend at the beginning of 2022, which I attended. I am a marketer by nature and experience and I have been travelling all over New Zealand from Whangerei to Invercargill, attending motorhome shows, agricultural shows, markets of all kinds, big events, small events. I attended the Whiti markets when I came home. My home is the Whiti Farm Park. My home is the Whiti Farm Park. I had heard through the ‘grapevine’, that Doreen had said, “This is my last market. “So I said to my friend, John Taylor, Shall we run the market?”
That was January, and now Ronnie James and John Taylor are business partners with the business name, James Taylor Events. They are ready for the first Whiti Markets of the season, commencing this Saturday, 8 October. Ronnie says, “In our travels, having been a part of every kind of market, we have seen all sorts of management st, and we have that inside perspective, and so we believe we can bring more to the markets enabling them to be better than ever.
Ronnie and John took over the reins in February which was heading into the quiet season, or so they thought. But at Easter, there were 50 stall holders. That’s a lot for the Central Park area, “adds Ronnie. “An unprecedented number of new marketers who have never presented are coming to town. One feature will be more food produce and with ready to eat food available. Food marketers have to get their own licence from the Council. The Menzshed is going to have two stalls at our first market day, to sell what they design and make as well as hold a sausage sizzle.
It is well known that there will be a wide variety of stalls from many locations, but the emphasis will remain on local artists and producers and New Zealand made products.
“The Whiti markets can be the best, marketing local people, local produce and crafts, says Ronnie. “We hope to see more locals down at the markets, as Covid reduced the life of stall and shop front retail for a while, but it’s a new day and people will experience the markets with more of a carnival atmosphere.” We ran a Logo competition with Yolanda producing the winning design. It has now been adopted by James Taylor events.
Ronnie has developed her own product, ‘Genie In a Jar, a wonderful, natural cream for dry and cracked skin.
The Whiti Markets are open this Saturday, 8 October, 8.30am to 1.00pm, the same day of voting for local body elections which closes at 12 noon.