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The market is her baby


The market is her baby

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SHE IS NOT edible, but anyone who is familiar with Jocelyn Jones in the Cheapside Public Market knows that she is a special fruit.
Jones, a supervisor at the market, often goes beyond her job description of managing subordinate staff and planning special events at the location “to not only keep customers coming but also to keep vendors in a comfortable and lively setting where sales are booming”.
After 30 years working in various capacities at several markets throughout the island, “Miss Jones”, as she is affectionately known to those she interacts with on a daily basis, believes that she is highly qualified to point out that “the market is a very special and important place”.
“I love this place. There have been lots of challenges over the years but I love my job and most of all I love dealing with people, especially the vendors in the market,” Jones told the MIDWEEK NATION.
“In the market the older folks look forward to me coming and asking them how they are doing, make a joke with them, and make sure everybody is comfortable.”
The WEDNESDAY WOMAN said that Cheapside currently had a mixture of young and old vendors selling produce, meat, clothing and food from Monday to Saturday.
But according to her, there was a loose link between these two generations which she wanted to see tightened.
“What I would like to see is that everyone come together where the younger folks can get some guidance on the vending trade from the older folks,” she said.
“This is important for the survival and culture of the market to go on. Yes, things are changing in the market like with everything and everywhere else, but there are some aspects of the vending trade . . . and of the overall market which we need to keep. And then I like camaraderie.”
Last November’s Karaoke session and fashion show were part of Jones’ activities to lift the atmosphere and customer experience in the market.
And she was quick to indicate that she wasn’t a professional singer but a regular participant as some of the old vendors who were fond of her wanted “to hear Miss Jones sing for them”.
“Through these activities we promote the market and let people know what we have. Gone are the days when people saw the market as somewhere you have yams and dirty potatoes.
“We have jewellery; we have clothing; we have seamstresses; we have tailors; and we have hairdressers and butchers.”