Venue change works wonders for revitalised markets
THE pandemic may have forced a change in scenery, but it has led to a more inclusive atmosphere at Coramba Village Markets.
The need to adhere to state health directives when the markets started up again in September necessitated a move from its traditional location, along Coramba Road, to a site next to the Coramba Rural Fire Service station.
And not only has the move created a more close-knit vibe, it now means the local RFS are getting in on the act by holding a BBQ and opening up their fabulous museum.
One of the market coordinators, Michelle King, said it was great having the RFS on board.
"Everybody loves the museum it is fun to have a look at what they have got, including a restored fire truck," she said.
While the inclusion of the RFS was a boon for the markets, which are on again tomorrow (Sunday), it's the community's produce and local wares which standout.
Ms Williams said there were a number of talented growers in the Orara Valley who were working together and supporting each other.
Some of those growers were contributing the Orara Grown Community Produce stall and there were others selling preserves and sweet treats bound to excite the tastebuds.
Throw in some of the Coffs Coast's very own Rainbow Chai and a musical 'drum jam' and it was a market very much enjoying a renaissance.
"It's just a great chance to connect. We just love to share what we are passionate about - growing local food and shopping local," she said.
"The whole Orara Valley community has been supportive of the market and as much to support our stall holders, a goal is to attract more people out to the Orara Valley and support the local businesses too."
Attracting residents to the Coffs Coast hinterland firmly on the agenda of passionate Orara Valley locals and Coffs Harbour City Council, who recently worked together on a unique tourism initiative.
Shop the Orara Valley weekend put vouchers in the hands of the community for use at businesses across the region, including the Coramba General Store, The Idle In Cafe and The Golden Dog Hotel.
Launched in conjunction with a new Orara Valley Tourist Trail campaign, it was a popular event which attracted plenty of visitors from the other side of Red Hill.
A long-term goal of the tourist trail is to position the region and its businesses as the perfect double-act to the seaside holiday destination Coffs Harbour is already famous for.
The Coramba Village Markets are held the third Sunday of each month and run from 9am to 1.30pm next to the Coramba RFS station.