Category Archives: Stall holders

Details of stall holders

Crankfest Xtreme

Crankfest Xtreme is a once a year community FREE festival held in Evans Head this year on Saturday the 27th of April.

Stall holders wanted. Apply via

While they have filled their quota for food vans, organisers tell me they have many spaces are available for artisans and other stalls. More details click here.



Markets making the news

WHICH festival has been called off? Where’s the next market going to pop up? And who’s been making the news? North Coast Markets has put together a round up of markets, fairs, and festival news for the past week.


  • Score a bargain at Antiques Markets  CONNOISSEURS of collectibles, antique aficionados and just those looking to score a bargain will be in their element this weekend during the second annual Quota Antiques and Collectibles Fair in Yamba.

What have I missed? Your comments are welcome below.

5 things you need to know about starting a business

Start me up.


I came across this quote recently and it really struck a chord with me. Does it resonate with you too?

start to be great

Anyone contemplating a new business venture will appreciate that taking a ‘great idea’ to the next level can be very exciting but not without its challenges. I know too well; I’ve got more than one business plan on the table right now. It quickly becomes obvious having a bright idea is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting something off the ground and into the market place.

Here’s a quick guide to 5 things you need to know about starting a  business:

1. Coming up with start-up capital often be one of the biggest hurdles. Even micro businesses need a few dollars to invest in  purchasing materials,  stock and promotional media like a website, domain name, business cards, and the like. And if you intend to trade under a business name, you’ll need to register it (for a fee) with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).  Of course if your idea is a little grander, then chances are you’ll need a substantial amount of money and borrowing and investing in a new business is not without risk.  

Financial choices can be limited and fraught with danger. If you don’t have any savings to draw on, you’ll need to apply for a loan or use a credit card. Before taking on any debt you’ll want to thoroughly work through your start-up costs and be realistic. Family and friends are another option as investors, but beware, disputes over money can cost more than the loan repayment so think hard before taking this route. Make sure you have a written agreement to repay the debt and the terms and conditions of the loan; take it seriously and stick to it.

2. Plan to succeed. That means putting together a business plan. Yes, even you. It can be as simple or detailed as you wish, but making a plan helps you to work out your ideas and should give you realistic expectations in terms of start-up costs. You are likely to need a thorough business plan if you want to apply for a business loan, and financial institutions will want some proof of security as well as a briefing on your previous experience relevant to your proposed business.

There are plenty of great resources for business plan preparation. In New South Wales, you can start with the NSW government site for Trade and Investment,

3. Be prepared for a lot of work before your great idea gets to market. Aside from all the hours spent planning your new venture, you’ll need to thoroughly research your intended market and your competition, as well as potential suppliers and the range of products and services currently on offer.

If your idea is based on your creative skills, once you’ve done your research you’ll need to start creating! Assuming you have enough capital to invest in materials and the tools of the trade, or you already have some on hand, now is the time to get productive – doing what you love! There’s a fine balance between having enough stock and having too much and only time will tell if you get it right.

And time is what you’ll need plenty of. Juggling a business around a family and possibly another job can be a challenge, but a very rewarding one if you get it right. Be prepared to compromise and negotiate. Not everyone will understand the level of commitment needed to get a business off the ground, especially those closest to you.

But if you develop good time management skills, learn to prioritise, and take time to spend with the people you love, hopefully you’ll find a great balance.

4. Insurance. Anyone wishing to trade a product or service, including market stall holders, will need some form of public liability cover. As with finance, there are many options. But just like capital, public liability insurance is an essential. While some market organisers provide an insurance option within the booking fee, many don’t. Try googling ‘market stall insurance’, or check out a quote from (please note this is not a paid endorsement and north coast markets is not affiliated with this broker in any way). Product liability insurance can be purchased at an additional cost.

5. Find a good business mentor, but don’t limit yourself to just one. A reputable accountant will help you navigate many of your financial and legal concerns. If you don’t already have an accountant, try to get a referral from someone you trust and when choosing one, look for an accountant who has previous experience in your line of business.

Your local chamber of commerce or business enterprise centre should also be able to point you in the right direction.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of online business mentors too. Find one or more that resonates with you. If you choose to follow a virtual mentor via social media, you’ll be rewarded with free tips and information, plus a lot of inspiration.

And your bonus point, number 6: Test your product or service at a local market. Being a stall holder, if only temporary, will give you the opportunity for direct feedback from your customers. It may be all the encouragement you need to develop your idea further and go into full production, or perhaps to refine your product or service to better meet the needs of your market. Here’s a link to the North Coast Market Directory, where you’ll find links to markets right across the region, of all descriptions.

Got any comments or ideas to add to the above post? I look forward to hearing from you.  You can follow North Coast Markets on facebook and stay up to date with what’s on when and where, from the Tweed to the Hastings.  You can also find NCM on twitter and/or subscribe to this blog.

Related Info and resources

Toast Urunga

What: Toast Urunga – Music, Food & Wine Festival
When: Sunday 2 September 2012, 10am – 4pm
Where: Morgo Street Reserve, Urunga, Coffs Coast
How much: $2 donation, accompanied children under 12 free

Toast Urunga September 2, 2012

Guest blogger Jan Baker

FOR a day of good, fresh food, regional wines, great music and cooking demonstrations in a picturesque outdoor setting where the Bellinger and Kalang rivers meet the sea, make sure you put Sunday 2 September in your diary.

Now in its 6th year, the event is expected to attract a great audience to Urunga’s scenic riverbank location.

As in previous years, the week of Toast Urunga festivities will start with a black tie dinner dance on Saturday evening 25 August. For bookings contact Lorraine Gordon on

Toast Urunga September 2, 2012

The festival on Sunday 2 September runs from 10am to 4pm. With more than 60 stalls, travel the world in a day tasting fresh foods – from bush tucker to sushi; from spicy curries to Mediterranean cuisine; including local restaurant delicacies, vegetarian, fish and deli items, as well as sweet treats to go with morning coffee and afternoon tea.

Boutique beers and a big variety of Aussie wines add to the taste sensation.

Live music throughout the day includes something for everyone with precision drumming, jazz, bagpipes, blues and big band sounds. In the afternoon, Phil and Jesse Emmanuel will be down from the Gold Coast playing their well known and loved favourites.

Entertainment includes cooking demonstrations by Lee O’Carroll from the award winning Bonville’s Flooded Gums restaurant and garden2kitchen with fab foodie Julie Ray & garden guru Phil Dudman.

Whilst adults enjoy music, food and wine, there are jumping castle, sand wizardry, plaster painting, trampoline bungy jumping, tattoos and face painting for the kids as well as special appearances of the Smiley’s.

The local shops will be open, craft stalls will be set-up around the streets plus the Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour Vintage Car Clubs are also visiting and will have their cars on display next to the Ocean View Hotel.

Bring: Chair/rug to sit on

Please don’t bring: pets, alcohol, picnic baskets

Additional free parking is available at the Urunga Sportsground with a free shuttle bus service to the event.

For more information about the event, contact Greg McPhee on 0408 556 341 or visit For information about accommodation or about other events and activities on the Coffs Coast, contact the Bellingen Shire Visitor Information Centre on 02 6655 5711.

Toast Urunga September 2, 2012

Iluka markets

Coastal chill

Jeremy and Sue Challacombe are familiar faces at many markets in and around the Clarence Valley. Today they were at the Iluka Markets. Have you tried their farm-grown strawberry ice-cream? Delicious!

It was a cold start, but when the sun arrived, it didn’t disappoint the north coast market community this weekend.

On Sunday I packed the family (and the new pup) into the wagon and drove through  Bundjalung National Park to visit Iluka markets, held on the sports fields in town.

Strawberry ice-cream. Yum

We arrived around 11am and the markets were in full swing. The rest of the family was interested in finding a source of food, but I was keen to see if remembered any of the tips I was given at a photography workshop yesterday.

Markets always have a great mix of characters and colours, and are a great opportunity for amateur photographers like me (isn’t everyone?) to practice capturing the moment and experiment with the buttons and knobs on the camera.

Norm Heinz is a colourful bush balladeer and a familiar face at the Iluka Markets.

Afterwards we went to the beach and felt very lucky to have it almost to ourselves. Later we had lunch at the Sedger’s Reef Hotel, one of my favourite hotels on the north coast. Iluka really has got a lot going for it, and so much more.

Here’s some of my favourite images from Iluka Markets on Sunday August 5, 2012 – through my eyes.

Samara’s dad hand-makes toys to last using mainly timber and metal work. He was camera-shy though, so Samara said yes instead.

Here’s one of his timber trucks. Cool. My boys love them.

How about these for a fun hat?! Just one of the many amazing and unique things you might find at the Iluka Markets

Helen makes many beautiful things, among them a fun and pretty range of colourful jewellery. Today she was at the Iluka Markets, but you’ll also find Helen at the Grafton Showground Markets and the GDSC Markets too.

And here’s Banjo enjoying his first visit to the beach. We’re not sure what breed he is, but that doesn’t matter. He has found his forever home with our family after we rescued him from the pound a couple of weeks ago. He’s just adorable and we all love him to bits.

For more photos, visit the NCM facebook page. To stay in touch with what’s on, when and where in the north coast market community, follow us on facebook , twitter, or subscribe via email to this blog. As always, your comments welcome.

Banjo enjoying his first time at the beach