Now that spring is here, many Mornington Peninsula markets would normally be starting again for a new season, while others never stop – except during a pandemic.
Nothing beats the lure of a well-stocked market. The fertile Peninsula is rich in produce and crafts of many kinds, and finding them all in one place is too irresistible for many. Just as important is the social aspect. Many friendships are made over the village experience of a regular market.
That’s how Bec Davis sees the Main Street Mornington Market. “My inspiration is to create something similar to what you would find in Europe, where you go to your local village to do your shopping and all the farmers are there,” Bec said. “For more than 40 years the market has been bringing people together.”
The only thing that can stop it, sadly, is a pandemic lockdown. “By not running the market we have lost revenue. It normally helps fund the Mornington Chamber of Commerce.” However the bigger loss is that incurred by the sellers themselves. “While some stallholders, like those with crafts, can offer their wares online, others can’t and have suffered a loss of income. The Main Street Market website lists all of the stallholders and their contact details, providing an opportunity for the public to still buy from them.”
While the Main Street Market operates year-round, most are seasonal. Joel and Vanessa Johnson’s monthly Emu Plains in Balnarring is due to begin its annual season of warm-weather markets in October. Emu Plains and another that Vanessa runs in Frankston have had a patchy run during the pandemic since their first cancellations in March 2020. “Eight markets had been cancelled and we had no idea if we would be able to have a 2020/21 season at all. But all of a sudden the sun shone and small controlled events were allowed back on the calendar. We implemented our COVID-safe plan and safely welcomed our stallholders and visitors back for a shorter season from December to April. It was amazing!”
As at Main Street Mornington, patrons can continue to support stallholders online. Lists of stallholders and other details about the markets can be found at here.
The Committee for Mornington Peninsula values the contribution made by the region’s market operators to the life and prosperity of the region.