Markets and You by John Moyle
Markets and You
If you are thinking of starting a market stall or are new to the markets then you need to read this.
You’ve done your prep, double checked that everything is in the vehicle and you are ready to arrive at the designated market spot.
By now you should have been through the check list with the market organisers for insurance, food safety certificate (if appropriate), a designated trading number and a start time.
Before you head out, go to Google maps and familiarise yourself with the location for such things as parking, access points and remember also to check the weather, especially for rain and wind.
On arrival at the market, if a new trader, it is best to park and walk to introduce yourself to the market managers.
They will discuss with you your trading requirements, such as power, and designate you a trading position.
In most markets the managers will also carry a Traffic Controller card which means that they are trained in traffic management.
You should always obey their instructions; they are there for your safety and that of your vehicle, other stall holders and the public, who are your customers.
On reaching the market perimeter make sure that your hazard lights are flashing and proceed no faster than a walking pace.
Arriving at your designated spot it is important to unload your vehicle and then prepare to move off the tarmac.
Park your vehicle and return to set up.
If serving food, on erecting your gazebo the first thing to do is to set 20kg weights on every corner, and plug in or set up your hot water.
This should be of a temperature that is comfortable to wash your hands and implements (somewhere in the mid thirties), and you must always have a collection bowl for discharge.
For food the next most important item is your digital thermometer and your daily check list for readings every three hours.
Hot food must be maintained at 60 degrees C or above and cold food must be below 5 degrees C at all times.
Hazardous foodstuffs such as cooked rice and raw egg products are not to be brought to the markets.
Your daily check lists are an essential part of your records and should be kept for at least 12 months.
Some local councils such as the City of Sydney may require access to these records if there are any breaches in Food Safety.
Once you have set up, have the hot water ready and weights deployed you can start trading, keeping an eye out for any changes to weather conditions.
In the case of high winds or squalls the market manager may request that you remove the top of your gazebo, and if weather conditions worsen to winds above 40kph it is in their power to close the markets.
If heavy rain is an issue stall holders must make sure that all side curtains are deployed and all food stuffs must be moved out of contact with the rain.
During the day be sure to keep all surfaces clean and use a sanitiser to wipe down.
All persons engaged in serving food should wear gloves and frequently replace them during service.
When the official closing time for the markets comes around break down your stall, pack all food away and then pick up your vehicle and proceed as at the start of the day, being mindful that in many circumstances the market managers will control your access to the markets.
Remember that the markets are an affordable way for you to engage with a high turnover of potential customers and that their safety is paramount.