Offering a totally different shopping experience to Mbare, Villa Musika recently opened as a permanent ‘village market’ in Milton Park.
Villa Musika, which is located alongside the Avondale stream on McLaughlin Road, is an imposing thatched house. This has been partitioned into several shop stalls for a variety of vendors. Unlike other markets in the northern suburbs, Villa Musika is permanently set up to have a market feel. Shoppers are protected from the elements by the thatch.
Shopper Melinda Jacobs says that the village market style has presented an alternative way to shop: “You can buy at your own pace and can chat easily with other shoppers.”
“I just love sampling my coffee while chatting with other people, a thing that is difficult to do at other shopping centres,” said another shopper, Janet Truscott.
Villa Musika was set up by Chris Pocock earlier this year. Run by manager Semina Jaset, it has a wide range of items on sale from crafts, vegetables, dolls for children, clothes, spices, dairy products and books, as well as housing a beauty shop and a plant nursery.
“The goods sold at the market are all home-made, all made by women,” explained Jaset. “We also hold special functions on selected dates, like Mothers’ Day, where we can offer shoppers the opportunity to celebrate in a quiet environment.”
The open days on Fridays add to the regular array of goods on offer. These are free days for anyone who wants to sell their wares provided their products are not the same as those sold by other regular stallholders.
Doll maker Mrs. Rosana Roberts (60), said Villa Musika has opened new horizons for her. “I used to rely on fairs and get-together functions to sell my wares, but now I am now able to earn a regular income.” She commutes from Arcadia across town.
Beautician Edzai Munyaradzi said the peaceful environment Villa Musika offers is good for shopping. Although her own business does not rely on walk-ins, she has been able to get customers through those who have been to the centre.
Villa Musika is open from 9am to 4pm every day of the week except Sunday.