Sumner Sunday Market revives seaside suburb

ENGROSSED: Cara MacPherson, 4, reads a book at the Sumner Sunday Market.

ENGROSSED: Cara MacPherson, 4, reads a book at the Sumner Sunday Market.

Each Sunday morning the village green in Sumner is transformed into a hive of entrepreneurial activity.

For the past six weeks, a united community of stallholders, led by market co-ordinator Colette Doughty, have sold their wares in the beachside village.

Fresh food and all things hand-made are on display here as part of this community-driven project to revitalise Sumner and attract people back to the formerly vibrant retail area.

Doughty said that the weekly Sumner Sunday Market is "all about being positive" and giving locals an opportunity to sell goods, while bringing more people back to the suburb.

She has been blown away by the number of visitors and exhibitors who want to be involved - lots of people from Sumner have "even set up business just to be here".

The not-for-profit initiative changes every week.

Doughty said it is good to have some regular sellers, but new stalls and entertainers are sourced each week to add variety.

Local musician Jason Pemberton serenaded the crowd on his guitar on Sunday.

Mother and daughter cooking duo Angela and Lulu Sullivan were selling tarts of all kinds, as the "Sumner Tarts", keeping their eyes on the action and on the building crowds.

Angela said they had been up late the night before, preparing their savoury treats to satisfy revellers' appetites.

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Neighbouring stallholder Wendy Rees loves making things with her crafty fingers, and sells decoupage and hand-stitched brooches.

This was her first time at the market and she thought it was "so good to see Sumner back and happening again".

"This feels like an art centre - the mix of art, food and craft."

Sumner youth even had the opportunity to get busy, making and selling their goods at a free, dedicated children's stall.

Twelve-year-old Mia Wright was making the most of the fine weather, selling ice-creams to fundraise for her Sumner School trip to Samoa in May next year.

Doughty said the market is all about the village and the community, and kids are encouraged to be "entrepreneurial".

First time market-goer Claudia Bieschke had seen the market advertised online and brought her partner and two children for a look.

She said the atmosphere was "quaint", and "what I had expected from Sumner".

"It's nice having live music. (It) just kicks it up a notch."

The market runs every Sunday, from 10am till 2pm, on the corner of Wake Ave and Nayland St. For more information, check out the Sumner Sunday Market Facebook page.

 - The Press

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