By Yvonne Pflieger

Taste of Manly brought an amazing 120,000 visitors to Manly over the last weekend of May, apparently 20% more than the previous year. The weather was beautiful and we had the opportunity to be there with a stall as part of the Sustainability Hub organized by the Northern Beaches Council.

Womens ShelterWe provided the fruit and veg display together with activities and some thought starters. Thanks to one of our suppliers and the hard work of our volunteers the Co-Op was able to source more than $2,500 of fresh produce for less then $1,500 which the council donated to the Manly Women’s Shelter at the end of the event. 🙂

This is Keelah’s summary of the weekend – a big thank you to Keelah from everyone for leading this and making things happen!

“Thank you all for helping to make the two beautifully sunny days so successful. Our stall looked amazing and received much praise. It will be interesting to find out how many attendees come to the co-op with their vouchers to claim their 10% discount.Taste of Manly Stall

Big thanks to Lara for her design and energetic preparations and to trusty Colin with his gazebo and beautiful banners and Sarah’s ordering skills, all who arrived early for the rigorous set up with help from Emily and her council volunteers and our Victoria and Libby.

A special thanks to our two responsible and enthusiastic younger volunteers, Gabriel and Belle, who helped keep the fruit and veg sprayed and fresh, Belle helping out both long days.

Thanks also to Skye, Angus, Jackie, Jenny, Lauren, Kylie, Neil, Stuart, Felicia, Carole, Rosanna, Bel for being such friendly representatives of the Manly Food Co-Op.

Kale Co-OpI feel Saturday went much more smoothly. Most attendees were immediately attracted to and inquisitive about our amazingly beautiful display, one of the highlights being the colourful bunches of the unusual ornamental Kale brought by Council’s Emily.

We had numerous people picking out fruit and veg ready to buy and wanting to buy that unusual kale, until Lara completed a sign: “All produce will be donated to the women’s shelter”.

We had a display of some of our co-op’s produce and “how to” demonstrations for making carry bags from tshirts, and make your own (compostable) dishmop. And the fruit and vegetable drawing competition for kids was won by Belle. Well done! 🙂

We were regrettably not successful in getting attendees to tarry and give their details as most were in a rush to meet friends and eat at the food stalls.

Lara had fitted out a pram loaded full of plastic disposPlastic Pramables with Belle’s doll peeking out amongst it, and a steel garbage bin full of plastic disposables alongside……which seemed to invite even more rubbish ‘donations’ from passers by!

We were surprised when we had to demolish our beautiful display and store everything in the neighbouring council gazebos overnight. That meant another early set up of our display on the Sunday. But not only that, unexpectedly, the council located security guards inconveniently, right next to our stall to inspect bags. This caused a huge bottleneck of attendees who were so crushed and keen to move on that our attractive stall was overshadowed and impeded.

We were lucky to have prime position, fine weather and importantly, generous volunteers over the two days.
Thank you all for helping to make our presence felt at our Manly Food Coop 2018 Taste of Manly display stall. I do hope it was a pleasant experience and you would be happy to take part again at such an event.”

Again a big Thank You to everyone involved! The Co-Op would not be the same without our lovely community! 🙂