Brick by brick

2015-05-05 06:00

The market was her life and Michelle Hoedemaker is fighting to keep it open.

With a strong belief in maintaining a community market, Hoedemaker of the Tokai Forest Market is pulling out all the stops to return the much-loved market to its former glory after suffering a devastating loss in the recent fires.

Hoedemaker first came to the market a few years ago when she took over a fruit and vegetable stall run by her mother Angie Rogers.

When the previous owners opted to sell, Hoedemaker took a bold step to take over the market fearing for the livelihoods of other traders.

“Being a trader I understood the need for the market. I knew what needed to be improved to make it work better. I spoke to my husband and went ahead.”

Everything seemed to go well and several improvements were made, including the installation of an ablution facility.

Then disaster struck and parts of the market went up in flames as the recent South Peninsula fire spread across the mountain slopes.

The fire destroyed the new toilet and damaged a container which was used as storage for the traders. “Many traders lost everything and it’s so sad because I know they cannot afford to replace it. We also had covers to assist traders in the wet winter months but that now too is gone.”

Since the fire, Hoedemaker has partnered with the Brick-by-Brick campaign and visitors are encouraged to bring five bricks to help rebuild the market.

The market is also once again open and visitors have to use Orpen Road and not Tokai Road to access the market.

“We lost almost everything and at this point I am doing everything I can to keep the market open. This is a special place where visitors can come and relax, shop and enjoy the day out with their families.

“Yes, we do need a lot to rebuild and are appealing to residents to come alongside us and assist where they can.” The market is open on Saturdays from 09:00.

V

If you would like to assist, call Hoedemaker on 072 538 8793 or send an email to hoedemakerm42@gmail.com

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