Warwick weekend outdoor market off to good start
A new weekend market has been launched in an effort to create opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Lawrence Scott, an MP for the Warwick area, said the market held at Brenda’s Pool on South Shore was organised after residents raised concerns about the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Mr Scott said: “A lot of people were saying that because of Covid they were made redundant, laid off or had to find other ways to generate revenue but they didn’t have anywhere to set up.
“We worked out a deal with Brenda’s Pool to work out of her parking lot and we started inviting vendors.
“There are no vendor’s fees or commissions – we just ask for a donation at the end if they can provide it. If they can’t, no problem.”
He added: “It’s just a way to help small businesses and entrepreneurs make it. We have to help them create opportunities.”
Mr Scott said the market launched five weeks ago and the demand had grown.
He said: “The turnout has been amazing. To date, the first time any vendor comes, they sell out.
“Including this week we have supported 17 local businesses and entrepreneurs and we now have a waiting list for vendors who want to come. It’s just amazing.”
On Saturday morning vendors were selling sweet treats, jewellery and vodka among other products as Nadanja Bailey played music for the crowd.
CJ Mallory, owner of mini-doughnut business Little Dippers, said he had planned to sell his products at the nearby South Shore Gas Station last week, but it could not be arranged.
He said he came to the market because he heard the music and was offered a space on the spot.
Mr Mallory said: “Being turned away at the last minute was upsetting, but Mr Scott had my back and business has been doing pretty good down here.
“I like the set-up – there’s a real community vibe and you can get to know the other vendors and people are flowing through supporting everyone.”
He added that he launched the doughnut business because he believed he would be more successful if he pushed himself.
Mr Mallory said: “If you invest your time in yourself and work hard, it pays off. And then you don’t have to worry about getting laid off if times go down because you can move with how the world is flowing.”
Anthony C Wilson of Paragon Jewels, said his first day at the market had a slow start, but he was confident business would pick up.
He said: “I’m a patient man. I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s something I love to do.
“Most of the things I sell are one in a kind – there might be another colour, but people can come to me and find something that no one else has.”
Shannon DeRoza, owner of Shan’s Home Bakery, said the only challenge he has had was meeting the high demand.
Mr DeRoza said: “This was my first time with a pop-up – usually I get orders and make deliveries.
“I started out with 12 dozen cinnamon rolls, then I did 25 dozen. Now I’m up to 36 dozen and it’s still not enough.”