Provisions market vendors were Sunday busy preparing to commence operations on Monday at their temporary new location.
Some were painting up their stalls and other paraphernalia in readiness for business at the former location of the headquarters of the Saint Lucia Fire Service on Jeremie Street.
“I feel good about it. Sometimes you live with a man for ten years and you don’t want to leave that man and when you get another one you say ‘Oh, I should have left that man a long time ago’,” Jane Joseph, who said she has been a vendor for 26 years, told St Lucia Times.
Joseph said she feel good about the temporary relocation.
But she told St Lucia Times she could not predict what sales would be like.
“Only one pedestrian crossing we have there – I don’t know. Later I will tell you about it, if I like it or not. But for now it’s good,” Joseph explained.
She said other vendors felt the same.
Joseph also welcomed the planned redevelopment of the Castries Market.
“I passed there a while ago and everything in a mess and if everything change, it will be good.”
Joseph’s colleague Vera James shared her sentiments.
“We have to make a new market, so I am happy about it. I need a roof over my head. So long I taking sun and rain. It’s time for we to have a change in Saint Lucia – we need a new market,” she said as she applied paint to some items.
Veronica Louisy exclaimed that she loved the temporary relocation.
“I call it New Jerusalem,” she told St Lucia Times.
Asked about the potential for sales in the new location, Louisy asserted that whatever God has in mind for someone, nobody can take away.
“If you have to get the sale, you will get the sale in Jesus name,” she declared, adding that the redevelopment of the Castries Market is a good idea.
Last week the office of the Mayor of Castries announced that the necessary preparations, including installation of security lockers and washroom facilities, were complete at the temporary location.
It was also announced that each vendor had been given a $500 relocation stipend.
The Communications Manager at the Castries Constituency Council (CCC), Jason Hullingseed told St Lucia Times he had visited the location from which the vendors will be operating temporarily for about three months and responded to some of their queries.
“I am very pleased that it is coming along in terms of the transition and most of them had positive things to say,” Hullingseed stated.
He said he was very pleased with the cooperation from the vendors.
Hullingseed explained that the idea was to make the vendors as comfortable as possible when they return to the new facility.
The Castries Market Redevelopment encompasses a state of the art food court, high-end air conditioned restaurants, a craft market, box park, viewing tower, entertainment area, meat and fish depots, duty-free shopping boutiques and much more.