THINK fresh, think local, think affordable — that's the message of a new outer east market hoping to inspire locals to healthier lifestyles.
About 150 local growers and customers came together to launch the Mt Evelyn Affordable Food Market last Friday.
The market will now run every second Friday, giving residents the chance to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and meet the growers.
Local health groups have found that many families in the region can't afford fresh food. The market looks to discourage people from opting for cheaper, fattening alternatives.
After attending the opening day, Damian Galle, who runs a fruit shop in Silvan, likes the idea of what the market aims to achieve.
"We've seen a lot of both our regular customers and have got to know new customers," he said. "Yes, the produce is cheaper but it's still good. Nine out of 10 times there is nothing wrong with it — I wouldn't sell anything that I'm not prepared to eat myself."
Mr Galle said the market was also a good way for customers to realise the importance of keeping local growers and sellers afloat.
"There's not many fruit shops around.
"One day we're going to turn around and they [supermarket chains] will have eaten us all up."
He said he hopes the new market is successful.
"There's a good vibe here in Mt Evelyn, a good community feel."
The market was set up by Inspiro (formerly Ranges Community Health), Morrisons and local food growers.
Inspiro chief executive officer Karyn McPeake said the market was established to improve access to fresh fruit and vegetables across the shire by selling them at a reasonable price.
Entry to the market is free and the entertainment includes musical acts and cooking demonstrations.
The market is held at the Mt Evelyn Scout hall, Station Street.
Details: email@example.com or call 9736 1177.