SWAG Saturday market in Tauese
The Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (S.W.A.G.) will have a market at Tauese on Saturday as they consider their options following the complete shutdown of all Sunday markets.
S.W.A.G. Executive Member, Mele Maualaivao, told Samoa Observer that they stopped their Sunday stalls in order to protect their members and their clients.
But now that the Government has ordered the ceasing of all business activity on Sundays, as part of amended state of emergency (S.O.E.) orders, they are looking at their options so the Saturday market will be trialed over the next two weeks.
“[A]t that time the Sunday markets had not been cancelled but to protect our members and clients, we stopped hosting Sunday stalls then. The Sunday markets were closed officially in April,” Maualaivao said. “We decided as an experiment to have a Saturday Market for Mother’s Day weekend but the energy and good will was so strong that we decided to host one every Saturday during the extended S.O.E. (May 16, 23, and 30). We won’t know how to proceed until we know if Sunday markets will be opened again or not.”
She expressed her appreciation to Bella’s Kitchen, for assisting them by offering a place to host their market, and added that S.W.A.G. was surprised that so many people responded positively to their new location.
“We were so grateful to Bella’s Kitchen and owners Isabella Chadwick-Maiava and Mika Maiava, because they offered their storefront to us to host the Mother’s Day Saturday Market,” added Maualaivao. “Then, they encouraged the other store owners (Italiano’s and Hole in the Wall) to make their storefronts available to us too. We were overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness of the Tauese storefronts. We also liked that it was a reminder of the old days when the Tauese market was still around.”
Maualaivao further noted that the Saturday market is just for the S.O.E. period and that is throughout the whole month of May.
“We have been heartened by the positive response and by all the different businesses that have come on board to support us,” she enthused. “We have had to seek other means to get our products out there (some online alternatives, some using new locations, some encouraging more business to their homes).”
S.W.A.G. has a membership of nearly 60 members who represent a broad spectrum of growers, farmers and business owners who exist in Samoa. The market is open from 9am to 12pm on Saturday.