By the time you read this article, Macleay Island’s iconic Organic Market will be no more. It is the end of an era!
Eleesa Zlatic, the popular owner and the person who developed the Organic Market, has decided to close the market sooner rather than later.
To put it simply: She has had enough!
“As a family we have dedicated our time and opened our backyard to the community for almost eight years, and now it is time to breathe and enjoy some freedom,” Eleesa told The Friendly Bay Islander in an exclusive interview.
Eleesa and her children Ayla and Izaac have gone through some tough times in recent years, particularly with passing of partner Kerry.
“To be honest, I am exhausted.”
“I have decided to close down without any fanfare so I can spend quality time with my teens and take some new directions with my life,” Eleesa added.
Eleesa has closed the Organic Market in the full knowledge that it will be missed by many.
“I know it meant a lot to many people and it has literally changed people’s lives over the past eight years, improving health and being a popular community hub.”
“People have referred to it as the heart and soul of the island,” she said.
[The former lemon farm opened as the Organic Market in October 2011, the same time as your Friendly Bay Islander commenced publication. The Organic Market advertised in every edition up until last month).
Eleesa’s decision is all about her and her children’s future.
“First up, I just want to go somewhere, camp on a beach, go for walks and do some reading.”
“Then, with my teens, we will assess our futures together,” Eleesa added.
She did say that she will be keeping the farm and that there was a possibility that some elements of it could ‘open again’.
“We have developed some very popular Infinite Earth festivals and events over the past four years, and it is something that I love to do.
“We are particularly keen to host the Quandamooka comes to Jencoomercha Festival later this year.
After a good break, Eleesa is prepared to lease out elements of the farm for others to consider operating.
She said that the Market section is available for lease to someone who would like to ‘give it a go’.
Other areas of the farm are also available for lease (i.e. commercial growing operations)
The area would also be ideal for use by local groups to conduct festivals or workshops on a time-lease basis.
The final day of the Organic Market as we know it, was on Saturday, March 2.
Eleesa wishes to ‘thank the Market crew for all their years of hard work and dedication, and of course the community members who supported it.’
• Eleesa Zlatic and her children Isaac and Ayla on one of the last days at the Organic Farm.