13 March, 2018, 12:00 am
I KNOW that our family has benefited financially from the market business for more than 20 years because we now have our own family home and also operate a farm.
These were the words of Luisa Radinivuya, 31, of Cunningham Rd, who sells vegetables and rootcrops from her stall at the Bayley Bridge Market.
Ms Radinivuya said she was quite young when her parents, Manueli Ratulevu and Alisi Labalaba, started the market vending business at the Bayley Bridge in Laucala Beach Estate.
“And we, the six children, have been able to go to school and some are now working; and my father has been able to ease off from running the market stalls full time,” Ms Radinivuya said.
She said she decided to drop out of school to help her father operate their six market stalls.
“During weekdays, there maybe a few customers in the morning, but it’s in the afternoon after work that customers pass by and buy from us on their way home.
“We normally don’t make that much money during weekdays; it’s during the weekends that it gets very busy for us, especially Fridays and Sundays.
“We however do not operate on Saturdays because it is our Sunday since we are Seventh-day Adventists.
“On a good Sunday we can make well over $1500 in income but we try to keep our expenses to a minimum,” she said.
“I remember very well when I was young and my father used to teach me everything about being a market vendor, pricing of the produce and what produce to buy and sell and buying produce from farmers and suppliers etc,” she said.
“My father still does a lot of the purchasing for us from the Suva market and some farmers who normally supply us even deliver the goods here at Bayley Bridge,” she said.
“He drops the purchases off with me and I take it from there,” she said.
Ms Radinivuya said the location of the market was also very convenient for customers who were on their way home to Kinoya, Laucala Beach, Nadera and other surrounding areas.
She sells vegetables, fruits like pawpaw, banana and pineapples, rootcrops such as dalo and yams and even bundles of firewood at her stalls.