Trailed back in 2012 the Johnsonville School Sunday Market has become a local fixture. With a well established competitive market that includes 2 large super markets, a fruit and vege market and Commonsense Organic's, all with plenty of parking and main street locations, one would wonder how could another supplier compete with that?
Well it's clear from the volume of people shopping, that the sunday market has very successfully established its own place in this competitive market and there are business lessons to be learned here.
With next to no marketing, no facebook page and no advertising other than signs at the school, they have built purely on word of mouth, the community has marketed for them.
Provide value and people talk about it. The prices are significantly cheaper than the supermarkets and shopping here can significantly reduce your weekly grocery bill. The produce is not perfect but a misshapen carrot tastes just the same as a straight one.
Contribute to the community and people will talk about it. The school makes about $500 per week from the market. Many of you will understand this impact this will have on their fundraising and what a difference these funds will make. It takes a lot of sausage sizzles to raise that kind of money.
Give back to the community and people will talk about it. At the end of the day unsold produce is given to Kiwi Community Assistance to support local food banks, school lunch programmes, local families in need and women's refuge. Wow.
All children are welcome with the playground providing excellent entertainment while parents shop. Many sit on the steps with a yummy piece of seasonal fruit. For a local entrepreneur a coffee cart would be a welcome addition and face painting would be very popular.
The Johnsonville School Sunday Market has become a destination, a sunday morning activity where you can turn a weekly chore into an outing.
Business lesson - provide value, get talked about, give back and be consistent.
Author: Iona Elwood-Smith
Factsheet about the Johnsonville School Market:
Open Hours: 7am to 3pm
Location: Johnsonville School
Address: Ohariu Rd, Johnsonville
Focus: Fresh Fruit and Vege