A Bendigo chef is hoping to capitalise on the city’s “child-friendly” status by putting a kids’ market into the ailing mall.
“We think it could be a viable option, and something we’ve been trying to get up and running,” Brendan Tuddenham said this week.
“We want to make it like a farmers’ market, but with interactive things for kids to do.
“We will encourage producers to come along with animals, for example, and the idea is for kids to see where the good comes from.
“We want it so the kids can be educated, but in a fun manner.”
Mr Tuddenham responded to a call from proprietor of Toasties in the Hargreaves Mall, Steve Gray, for people interested in forming a committee to look at starting up a Saturday market in the mall.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not interested in going against the Community Farmers’ Market, but we think we could build on what they do and extend it into the mall,” Mr Gray said.
“We have the space, and it would be good to have stalls, and music and other activities here.
“We need this, we need to do something, because the mall is dying.”
Mr Gray said he has approached the Community Farmers’ Markets, which are held on the second Saturday each month at the Rosalind Park end of Bull Street.
Although the markets are pushed for space, organisers said they are not planning to extend.
Mr Tuddenham runs the kitchen at the Belmont Hotel and he and his wife also set up Bendigo’s Kidz in the Kitchen.
He said he has a “solid plan” but needs help to put it into action.
“We need council to give us a hand, someone who knows the ins and outs,” he said.
A successful “Kids Market Central Vic” was held in Rochester earlier this year, with stalls of clothes and toys, but Mr Tuddenham said he has not heard of a food market aimed at children.
“It would be a first.”