In the week that shop, drop and swap produce stall Serendipity on Fairymead has been operating, support from the community has been overwhelming.
Established by Bundaberg locals Elizabeth Hunter and Lailah Bowie, the duo said they have been amazed to see all sorts of delicious, home-grown produce donated by residents to their stall on Fairymead Road.
The women, who both have a passion for gardening, said when they recently struck up a friendship they realised they also shared a common interest for helping others, and thus Serendipity on Fairymead was born.
“Serendipity on Fairymead is a Bundaberg based honesty stall providing a space for likeminded people to share and swap excess produce, plants and gardening supplies,” Lailah said.
“If you're a gardener – you would know all too well how easy it is to have an abundance of produce, plants, seeds etc!
“Imagine being able to bring in a couple excess pumpkins, zucchinis or cucumbers and come home with something you don't have growing in your garden!”
Serendipity the beginning of a great friendship
Elizabeth said she had always looked for ways to give back to others, especially during Covid, when times were tough and many were struggling.
“Before we started this venture I had begun planting in my garden and then offering the seedlings for free,” she said.
“Then, through my membership with Bundaberg Organic Gardeners, I was contacted by a lovely young woman, Lailah, who was enquiring about food swap stalls in the area.
“We got to talking and made a connection straight away.”
Elizabeth said she struck up an instant friendship with Lailah who shared in the same values, thoughts and beliefs.
“Lailah is in her 20s and I am 74 but when I spoke with her, it was like talking to myself,” she said.
“We have so much in common.”
Through their shared passion, the pair decided to expand their goal of giving by establishing Serendipity on Fairymead.
Lailah said the name they chose for the stall was the perfect fit for the story of their friendship.
“Serendipity means finding something, or in our case someone, when you least expect it,” she said.
An idea for a produce stall comes to life
Serendipity on Fairymead was constructed in the front of Elizabeth's home just last week.
“My gateway area has been transformed into a little produce stall for people to come as they please,” Elizabeth said.
“Lailah initially got in contact with some farmers who were more than happy to provide some produce and now, it is filled with seedlings, fruit, vegetables and more for people to take from for no cost at all.”
Elizabeth said to keep the stall going, community members were also free to drop off fresh produce for others at the stall.
She said Serendipity on Fairymead was all about sharing.
“This is based on an exchange of energy of giving and receiving,” she said.
“Lailah and I both believe in the spirit of paying it forward.”
How to use Serendipity on Fairymead
Lailah said the produce stall, at 31 Fairymead Road, was free for all to use.
“How it works is simple- just shop, drop or swap,” she said.
“We’re extremely appreciative for anything you drop to the stall or feel free to swap what you have for something available at the stall.
“If you don’t have anything to share, we have a donation box available and profits will be used for stall upgrades along the way.”
Serendipity on Fairymead is situated at 31 Fairymead Road, Bundaberg North and is always open to the public.