Sai Kung Sunday Market, an asset to the community for more than four years, has closed, Founder Greg Hunt announced. Held in the Hong Kong Academy, the market was an entertaining, colourful monthly event showcasing the products and services of local businesses and charities. Now it is gone. The last market day was 6 May. The website says another one was planned for 3 June, but it apparently has been cancelled.
“I have decided to close down Sai Kung Sunday Market,” Greg wrote on Facebook three days after his last market. “We had a good run, but the time has come to let smaller, cheaper markets cropping up locally take over. I’ve enjoyed the last 4+ years immensely and have made some good friends. Thanks to those who supported the effort and those that didn’t, well, they’ll always find something to be moan about. Good luck to all.”
Greg is to be congratulated for his imagination and energy in creating what was for many years a bustling, happy centre for business and society in Sai Kung. Many people will miss Sai Kung Sunday Market. Greg is a devotee of the wilds of Montana and perhaps will be spending more time there now, in between trips to Sai Kung.
(One example of the growing competition from smaller markets: The Hive business centre in Sai Kung will hold its first “swap market” on 26 May. People will be able to rent tables for $200 with proceeds going to charity. Manager Crystal Chan said books, clothes, household goods, toys and food will be on offer from noon.)
The Wine Guild’s French owner JB Mage commented on Sai Kung Market’s closing:
“The market went really well for the first two years and slowly started to gain less interest from residents. There is also an overall feeling that Sai Kung businesses have been more challenging lately. Some may say that people are getting lazy and not very supportive of small businesses (while complaining of supermarkets and real estate at the same time). It is true that living in a busy city like Hong Kong, people love and need to be entertained and sometimes they just get attracted by what is new (a new restaurant in town, a new activity, a new shop, a new market…) and then small businesses must always be on their toes to show that they still exist, otherwise people just forget you (if they don’t simply move away from Hong Kong).
The SK Market was great at the beginning: you could earn a little during the market day and then use it as a marketing tool to attract customers into your shop if you had one. Some efforts had been made like trying to build an online platform but it didn’t work out. We could go on and mention what could have been done to raise more awareness (that it was just a monthly event in the best case after all and again, people just forget), or find creative ways to attract customers in the venue on the market day… but in my opinion it should have grown instead of going down anyways… and it shows that Sai Kung is definitely a challenging market for rents that are not cheap compared to HK island.”
JB will be toasting the memory of Sai Kung Sunday Market — he has been a stallholder there for many years — at a wine tasting at The Wine Guild this evening. All are welcome, he says, and it’s free. The beverage to be quaffed tonight is a rice wine from Bordeaux called Le Guishu. Its creator Olivier Sublett will be present. The Wine Guild is on Po Tung Road next to the Pakistani carpet shop.