The Alexandra Food and Produce Market is Central Otago’s latest casualty of Covid-19.
The weekly market in the heart of Alexandra had operated year round for the past five years.
Organisers made the decision not to resume when the region returned to Level 2 after the nationwide lockdown.
Founder and organiser Adrienne Lamb said originally she planned to postpone the market, however continued uncertainty caused her to rethink it.
“It’s kind of been a process over this past Covid period – everyone I’ve talked to is in the ‘what am I doing’ mode,” she said.
“Everybody is reassessing so much at the moment – I used to employ eight people this time last year, now I’m employing three.”
The market was unique in the fact it focused solely on produce and ran year round, but the past two years with Covid-19 had been hard on sellers, Mrs Lamb said.
“It’s really been tough.”
“The small regional markets are a struggle because there isn’t the larger population around, and of course we don’t have tourists coming by.”
Like many market sellers Mrs Lamb was now pivoting her business.
“A lot of us are thinking about how we sell things in a different way, so we’re looking at how we can keep the market products getting to the people without the market.”
Mrs Lamb is setting up a shop for her business – Taste Central Otago – on Letts Gully Rd.
She felt she needed to embrace a new way of doing things to ensure the future of her business.
“It’s not a time to sit around and do nothing; we need to change direction or we will be done,” she said.
“We either change how we do it or we just stop doing it.”
While the produce market had ceased, some sellers will continue for the rest of this month.