A make-shift fruits and vegetables stall functions on the driveway behind 'A' block for four hours - 8 a m till noon - thrice weekly - Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Mantri residents who made this possible are Mr Soundarajan and the Association chief Mr Umapathy Sivanesan.
Mantri driveway stall is part of a marketing initiative by small and marginal farmers to reach fresh vegs. and fruits to consumers straight from their farms. The farm producers co-op is called Thottam.
A quick check with my wife indicated Thottam rates are competitive in respect of onion, spinach, cauliflower. Banana price was on the high side. The range and varieties of fruits and vegs. on offer works to Thottam's advantage. Besides price, quality, regularity (3 times weekly) and punctuality (8 a m start), I would say, are the key to the success of any make-shift retailer .'Would you open at 8 sharp', I heard someone asking Mr Ganesh. The Mantri resident said he left for work at 8.45 a m. Most other Mantri residents are on a clock-work schedule on weekday mornings. Thottam retail was there, and open to business at Mantri's well on time this morning.
NDTV telecast last month a brief item on Thottam. The video link takes its time to open on my desk-top. Besides, the operative part, in the 2.30 min. video clip, starts after 30 seconds of advert.