Lawn bowls, gardening and pottery may come to mind when dreaming fondly of retirement plans, but for Laurie Sanders, it was to create his own village market.
This weekend his dream will turn into reality with the opening of The Village Market in Lower Hutt, where he has moved to retire after 40 years in a timber manufacturing business in Auckland.
“The idea is trying to reproduce the traditional, 1000-year-old village market where you have everything there, sight, smell and taste. It’s where small businesses start out,” he says.
“The first market I ever went to was the Hastings farmers market, which has since helped to evolve several major producers. That’s what we are trying to do here, create an artisan hub with job opportunities.”
Sanders is opening the market with his daughter, Jo Sanders.
The new market in Wainui Rd, opposite the old Griffin’s Factory in Waiwhetu, will feature temporary and permanent stalls and combine street food with crafts, fresh produce and live entertainment.
Jo Sanders says she and her father are aiming to reactivate the area. “Dad’s had a long-harboured interest in markets and, now that he’s retired, it’s his long-time dream coming to life.
“He firmly believes that things like this help small businesses grow and gives them a platform to get going.
“When he saw the site he thought it would make an amazing marketplace, which he also thought Lower Hutt needed,” she said.
The market will include plenty of seating and a small rail line with an old-fashioned wooden jigger providing rides for children.
“A lot of the markets in Wellington are produce markets that are starting to have hot food but we are really going for the whole village-market feel, a place to see your friends and neighbours and have a good time.”
From tomorrow, The Village Market will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-3pm, with a Friday night market from 3pm-9pm. Located at 46 Wainui Rd, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt (opposite the old Griffin’s factory).