Laneway ‘a top spot’ for food market

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MARKET: Jodie Evans wants to kickstart a produce market in her cafe and its surrounds to bring back the community vibe to Maitland CBD.
Nanjing Night Net

A handwritten note penned before her mother died has put a Maitland cafe owner on a pathto bring back the community vibe to the CBD.

And when Jodie Evans sawthousands of shoppers in The Levee buying pumpkins from the impromptu stall, she couldn’t stop thinking about all of the opportunities a regular market would bring.

Now the owner of Cafe 129 in Bourke Street wants to open the courtyard and part of her cafe to farmers so they can sell their produce direct to shoppers.

She said plans to set up the market in the The Levee seemed to be attracting too much red tape and Maitland City Council might be happierif themarket extended alongside the cafe on Coffin Lane or even intoBourke Street.

“Bourke Street used to be one of the snobbiest streets in Maitland.It’dbe nice to be able to revive it and have people come in fortheir fruit and vegetables and go home with quality products,” Ms Evans said.

“Our locals have got great quality, it’sso fresh, it’sstraight from the farm into town, how could you missthat? It’s absolutely perfect.”

A twist of fate brought Ms Evans to the hospitality industry in Maitland and her passion for a farmers market grows daily.

She said the market would give businesses huge exposure and allow cafe owners to buy local produce and pay farmers a fair price.

“I’m going to get it,” she said.“Maitland needs it, it’s a farming community so why not use what we’ve got here and support the locals.

“There were more people in the mall for pumpkins than there was for the After Dark event. “It brought the people together, we need that, we needmore support, more locals.”

Ms Evans has always wanted to be in hospitality in Maitland.

It’s been almost two years since she found her mother’s note that read “go and get your cafe”.After she missed out on a building she found herself leaning against her car in Bourke Street wondering where shewas going to find a place for her cafe.

“I turned around and saw the for lease sign.I couldn’t believe it becauseMum used to say this placewould make a good coffee shop.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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