Skydiving Santa! Free Christmas Fun at Harbourside Markets!

We are excited to announce Santa will be parachuting into Harbourside Markets to collect last minute Christmas wishes from the boys and girls of the Coffs Coast. Bring your family and friends along to Christmas celebrations at Harbourside Markets on Sunday 23rd December. It will be a day of fun and frivolity with a little kids carnival, jumping castles, pony cycles, face painting, temporary tattoos, great food, live music and relaxed vibe.

Santa is due to drop in from the North Pole at 10am with the help of Coffs City Skydivers. He will also be bringing his helper Pixie Elf to spread Christmas cheer courtesy of The Smiley’s!

Join in with the festive spirit. Fill in your special Santa wish list to enter our Christmas competition to win loads of prizes for big and little kids from Harbourside Markets, Coffs City Skydivers and The Smiley’s to be drawn at 11am on the day. There will also be plenty of photo opportunities with Santa and Pixie Elf.

It’s a fantastic chance to support your local growers, producers and craftspeople and get the last of your Christmas shopping done. Grab your fresh fruit and vegetables and gourmet foods for the Christmas table. Shop for unique hand-made Christmas gifts in a pleasant holiday atmosphere without the crowds. Christmas shopping on Sunday’s cannot get any better than this.



Coffs Coast Cartoon Festival 2018

The Bunker Cartoon Gallery and Harbourside Markets hosted Coffs Harbour’s very first Cartoon Festival.
Saturday, 1 September marked the 30th Anniversary of The Rotary Cartoon Awards organised by The Bunker Cartoon Gallery.
The Coffs Coast Cartoon Festival was organised with the cartoonists and artists in Coffs Harbour to celebrate the Awards and to add to the festivities.
The day included workshops, pop-up shops, live drawing, caricatures, pavement art, a grand cartoon costume parade, and much more!

Thank you Free Exposure for the fantastic photos of the day!

Living Slow – Finding Flow In Your World

What do we mean when we talk about living fast or slow?

When we are rushing from one thing to the next it’s hard to focus on what’s in front of us. And it’s even harder to enjoy it! When was the last time you did things without having a plan or an end time? Or even just without the feeling of rushing. Little kids are so good at it. They just meander along getting distracted and going to the next thing when they feel like it.

So maybe we are able to live a bit slower on weekends or holidays but can we live our workdays in a slower zone? And still be productive? And more relaxed? So life feels slower. Wouldn’t that be fantastic! We can’t give up the “have to” or the “want to” things but maybe it’s a good idea to give up the “should do” things, they just cause stress.

I don’t know if its possible to live more slowly but not give up the important stuff or the fun stuff but it’s definitely worth a go. But if you are enjoying the adrenaline rush of busyness, that’s OK too. But if you’re not enjoying it and want to change be prepared to take some time to work on it. This is going to take practice. And you will need to make an effort to go against your habits.

Firstly just to imagine living differently – without rush, relaxed, focused, productive. Imagine a kind and gentle approach to yourself and others that is forgiving and creative and looks for positive outcomes in all the challenges we face. If you imagine as you are going to sleep I’ve heard it can help your brain to remember to think differently the next day.

Next you do need some planning. Put your “have to’s” on a list and some “want to’s”. Try really hard to put fewer things on the list. Is there “should do’s” on there? Get rid of them!

And then take some moments here and there to move more slowly and meander and notice. You might find you discover some wonderful and interesting things in your world. We have heaps of them.

At The Happy Frog Café Grocer and Harbourside Markets we work hard to create spaces for people to unwind, catch up with friends and connect with community. Space to enjoy activities, listen to live music or take the time to shop and cook a healthy meal from scratch. Space to go with the flow!

by Kim Towner

12 Top Tips For Market Stalls!

For many of us, running our first market stall can be daunting. Whether we’re serious hobbyists or embarking on a new business venture. The rules of starting a successful market stall are pretty much the same. If done the right way, a market stall can provide us with a welcome, short term, cash injection or it can become a thriving business in the long term. If you’re looking for a guide on how to make the most out of your market stall, here’s a guide with our top 12 handy tips on how to run a successful market stall:

1. Bring a positive attitude & share your story.

Markets are welcoming environments. Customers come to markets to engage, be approachable and always have a good attitude. Markets are an opportunity for the public to meet the maker, producer, farmer. People will enjoy a chat about your products and your story.

Willingness to hold a friendly conversation and sustain a positive attitude will go a long way. Customers like to feel special and that you care, they are much happier to invest their money into something that they feel connected to.

It’s good for building your brand for customers to know the process of how your product is made, think about showing the process or having some images or references ready for when customers ask. Be open to feedback.

2. Get social, tell your friends

Let people know you are coming along to Harbourside Markets, let them know what you will be selling, take some photos and get your friends to share. Posts to the market facebook page will, in turn, be happily shared.

3. Handy stuff kit

Put together a kit of useful stuff. A notebook – keep track of your sales on the day and also to take requests from customers, ideas for next time or general suggestions.

Other useful bits and pieces include – calculator, sticky tape, scissors, extra product packaging, spare pen, pegs or bulldog clips, masking tape, blue tac, push pins, a small hammer, tissues or wipes Bring snacks and a water bottle for energy and to keep hydrated. It can be a long day. A buddy to man your table is also good idea if you have one around.

4. Don’t be too pushy

Let customers browse through your items without feeling pressured in to buying right away. And don’t watch them like a hawk! You want people to feel comfortable browsing and exploring your stall.

Markets are not just about the sales! Markets are about advertising your business, getting your name and products out there and getting valuable feedback. Have business cards or brochures within easy reach (and plenty of them!). People may not want to make a purchase on the day, but give them a way to follow you up, such as an email address, website, etc. A small sign with your business name clearly displayed is essential.

The most powerful form of marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. After all, the marketplace is the world’s oldest social network.

5. Product display

Your stall should be a welcoming and inviting space for people to be drawn to! Busy markets are awash with colour, sound and distractions, potential customers can easily pass you by if not drawn in by your display.

If you have a table try and balance your product out so it’s a combination of height displays so that you can see everything from standing away and not just looking straight down on the table.

Make it eye catching and easy for your customers to see everything and not over accessorised or cluttered that customers have to dig around. Make products accessible so they can look at them themselves and try on, or have a closer look.

If you just have clothing racks, bring life to your area and make it inviting. Add some furniture and props, show how the product is worn, have a lookbook or images of a photoshoot ready and on display. Make it easy for customers to see and understand your product.

If your product is clothing, jewellery or accessories always wear it or get your staff/ friends to. You will be surprised at what a difference this makes as you will show the products off in the best possible way and show that you are confident about its functionality.

Decide what your high turnover items will be and place them prominently. They may make you a smaller profit margin than your other items, however, these are the items that will draw customers in to your stall, and provide you with the means to keep your stall running, week in, week out.

Once drawn in by your prominent, more budget friendly items, it’s likely one or two of your items with a higher profit margin will take their eye too.

Make sure pricing and information signs are clearly displayed. Some customers may not feel comfortable asking.

6. Stall display

There’s no need to splash out on expensive displays when you’re just starting out. There are simpler, more cost effective ways to attract potential customers into your stall. Make your stall presentable and welcoming by buying or borrowing tables and a marquee. Put down table cloths. Its a good idea to practice your stall setup at home first. Display your products as you would on market day. See exactly how much stock you can fit in and the best way to display each item. Don’t just shove as much stock in as you can, think about the space and the best way to show off your wares.

Prices must be clearly displayed for every item. Customers shouldn’t have to ask and you don’t want to lose a sale because of something so simple!

Also think about the packaging of your items. A clear cello bag or a nice label can really make a difference to the look of a product and can add an extra level of professionalism to your work too. Have some nice bags available to pop things in when people make a purchase.

7. Less is not more

Always be prepared with stock. Sizes, packaging and alternatives ready on the day. Always over compensate for what you predict will sell, so you will have left over stock ready for re-orders or possible wholesalers.

Whilst it is exciting to sell out, nothing looks worse than an empty stall!

8. Know your prices

Have an idea of your prices before you set up your stall. Customers will easily lose interest if you take too long to decide on a price, you may also lose the interest of others waiting for your attention. Busy periods will require you to attend to multiple customers at once, you will make things easier on yourself if you can promptly tell each customer how much you want for each item.

9. Have small change handy

Have a good float to make change. Allow for the first two customers of the day giving you a $100 or $50 note for a $5 purchase. It happens! Think about the cost of your products and how you’ll generally be making change, allow for this when organising your float. Keep your money safe!

10. The early bird gets the worm

Get to the market early. Parking, setting up and unloading between two stalls which are already set up can be difficult. If you intend on becoming a regular stallholder, find out what time your neighbours arrive so you can co-ordinate.

11. Start small

If you’re planning on making a business out of holding a stall regularly, don’t go all out, too early. This breeds unrealistic expectations and can lead to failure before you even start to get on a roll.

Start with what you can afford and let your business grow organically. Minimise your overheads as much as possible until your business starts to turn a profit, then use that profit to invest in additions to your stall. If you can do something yourself, don’t pay somebody else to do it.

If you can’t afford the equipment, signage or the bigger vehicle you want, don’t buy it. If you have the right product, in the right market, with the ability to sell it, you’ll be able to afford these things eventually. All good things come to those who wait.

12. Be realistic

This last tip also applies mostly to those planning on holding a stall regularly. Becoming a regular market stallholder will require a great deal of fortitude. You will be sourcing items before you hold your stall, trying your best to get said items at the lowest possible price you can, packing your vehicle the night before, waking up early, setting up, sometimes in the rain, you may be competing with others doing the same thing, while trying to get the best profit margin you can for each of your items.

Once you start understanding your products and your customers more, where your strengths lie, then playing to those strengths, you’ll find yourself getting on a roll, having your stall run like clockwork and eventually wondering what you were so worried about when you started.

Above all, ENJOY YOURSELF! Joining a community market, building your own business and sharing your passion is wonderful and rewarding. We pride ourselves on creating a helpful, friendly and courteous stallholder

Harbourside Markets Return To The Jetty

November will see the unveiling of the new outdoor space and the return of Harbourside Markets to its former Jetty location after months of steady construction work. It will feel great to be back home and there has been plenty of big changes while we have been away!

The old site has been totally redesigned to accommodate our weekly Sunday market of over 80 local maker and growers stalls who now return to a purpose built community market and entertainment space. The markets will be BIGGER, BETTER and BRIGHTER than ever before with lots of new features for you to enjoy. There is also plenty of undercover seating so sit back on our funky, new outdoor bean bags while you soak in the sights, sounds and smells of the market food, creative stalls, live music and kids entertainment.

There is a new permanent stage, plenty of footpaths or try out the new outdoor exercise station. The land has been built up and lush grass and new trees have been planted. The design also takes into account its harbour location with a new boardwalk inviting brilliant sea views into the space.

It has been wonderful for Harbourside Markets to partner with different community events over the years. The market space will now better cater to festival and event use so we look forward to bringing you even more! Don’t miss Gratitude Day on the 12th November! This site renovation marks an exciting new time of growth in the markets 10 year history. These continued improvements to the jetty foreshore area allow everybody to enjoy the natural beauty and unique public and historic spaces we all proudly call home. Join us in November to explore our new addition to the Coffs Jetty landscape. Follow Harbourside Markets facebook page for our confirrmed November market launch date:

Facebook @harboursidemarkets or go to our