If you’re a regular at Yandina’s Saturday market you’ve probably seen a man pushing around a cart, smiling and chatting to everyone as he goes.
His name is Wayne and he is the coordinator of the diverse pop-up shopping experience known as the Yandina Country Markets.
They open at 6am and close at noon every Saturday, but most shoppers probably never consider what goes into making this ‘village’ of stallholders come together and run smoothly, week in week out, in any weather.
The answer is: Wayne. He plays a key role in transforming the soccer club carpark into a mini village for stallholders in just a few hours. He’s on site by 12.45am and stays for about 12 hours. His first tasks involve coordinating parking for casual stall holders, and supervising the arrival and set up of the 100-plus regular stall holders.
By the time Wayne is out and about collecting stallholder fees with his cart, he’s already been at work for about six hours.
“The set up really starts to get busy by about 3am, and by 5am everybody is in,” Wayne explains.
Yandina’s Saturday market officially opens at 6am but in summer some locals arrive a bit early to avoid the heat.
Once the market is running smoothly, Wayne grabs his trolley and starts his rounds. It’s not a quick process, because he stops for a chat or a laugh with anyone and everyone.
But he doesn’t mind. “I chat to everyone. That’s what a market is all about; it’s a community meeting place,” he says.
“All the stallholders help one another. “We have real characters here. There is also so much local knowledge and passion about what they are selling because it’s often grown or made by them.
“You won’t find that attitude at a shopping mall. That’s why markets will always survive.”
Wayne has been coordinating the market for about four years. “I don’t keep count,” he explains.
His association with the market goes back further. For several years he has manned the passionfruit stall because he works at the farm.
He does the coordinating role at the market for a little extra money, not to make money.
“I’m a people person. I know everyone. I see all my friends every Saturday. How good is that?”