Although many of our traders have been involved with the Market for a long time, there are few whose connection stretches back more than half a century. Brett Saunders of TimeWeb Computers is one of those traders.
"I started in the Market when I was five years old with my parents, Murray and Dorothy Saunders, with Emerald Hill Nursery, so 55 years ago," says Brett. "It was a very different place then. The Market was sheds made out of tin and each aisle had a laneway behind it made out of bluestone pitches. With my mother and father on the stallholders committee, we knew 99 per cent of stallholders as we were there for 42 years."
Brett had some time away from the Market to start up his career in computers before launching the business he and partner Phillip Ruston continue to run today.
"TimeWeb started trading in March 2002 at the Market; we were opposite Maria with her five stalls selling stationery," Brett recalls. "Before we started I had a very large computer business in Oakleigh and was very sick at the end of 2000.
I started TimeWeb as a hobby to give me something to do, but it grew to five staff with others on the road and it was getting way too big again and the stress level was getting up there! We scaled it back a bit with the introduction of iPads, tablets, laptops… everything was portable, people didn’t want the PC anymore so we adapted."
Apart from the products on offer at TimeWeb – such as cables, adaptors, mice, camera protectors, phone cases, chargers and "a lot of button cell and weird batteries" – Brett says it is the high level of service and experience that defines their business.
"We get quite a few clients coming to us saying 'Joe Bloggs fixed my computer'... we generally can fix the problem for a lot less than they were quoted, and if the computer is not worth repairing we can offer a solution as sometimes they would be throwing good money after bad."
Although the price is a factor for some customers, value for money is more important in the long run.
"We endeavour to carry very good quality products," says Brett. "At the price we sell, customers will almost always find something cheaper, however, we can guide them as to how to use it and so on and we give a warranty on all products."
His work with technological products keeps his eyes firmly on the future, but to relax, Brett grows veggies, orchids and other plants that might have appeared at his parents’ nursery stall back in the day.
"I like to garden… yep, it’s still in the blood!"
You can find Brett and Phillip at TimeWeb Computers in Aisle B, open from 8 am every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.