Ziggy’s Fresh at Fyshwick named Greengrocer of the Year

by admin on July 13th, 2018

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Owners of Ziggy’s Fresh at the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, Toni and Ken Irvine, celebrate the shop being named Greengrocer of the Year. Photo: Jamila ToderasIt’s a big win for the ACT: one of the territory’s favourite fruit shops has been named Greengrocer of the Year, beating the top bananas of NSW.

Ziggy’s Fresh at Fyshwick was named Greengrocer of the Year in the 2016 Fresh Awards, which are given out by the Sydney Markets.

The awards are open to more than 500 fruit, vegetable and flower outlets.

Ziggy’s Fresh owners Ken and Toni Irvine had just one word to describe how they felt about the win.

“Ecstatic,” Mr Irvine said.

The awards are arranged into categories according to how much the outlets spend at the Sydney Markets, and Ziggy’s Fresh also took out the best medium business prize.

A mystery shopper program helps to determine the winners.

The Irvines also own Ziggy’s Fresh at Belconnen, which is run by their son Todd and his wife Susie. The family are third-generation fruiterers; it all started with Henry and Winifred Irvine, who opened a fruit shop in Yass in 1953.

The Belconnen store was a finalist in the best medium business category.

The Irvines say there was a simple secret to their success.

“What I put it down to is our passion for the business,” Mr Irvine said.

“You look forward to getting up and going to work. You love what you do.”

Mr Irvine praised his staff for all their hard work. “It’s as much their business as ours,” he said.

Mr Irvine, who also worked in fruit shops in Yass and Young, said Canberra was like a country town in the way customers were loyal and they had good relationships with shop staff.

“We know when to expect certain customers,” he said. “You know their names, you know their kids, you know their job.”

The family got into the fruit business almost by accident. Patriarch Henry Irvine was a builder in Canberra (he worked on the Russian embassy). He needed a truck for his business and the one he ended up buying came complete with a load of spuds. Henry went around and sold the potatos to cafes and realised it was good business.

“So we’re third-generation fruiterers, but we could have just as easily been third-generation builders,” Mr Irvine said.

The Fresh Awards program recognises excellence and innovation in fresh produce and flower retailing, growing and blogging.

Sydney Markets chief executive Brad Latham said: “The award entries are a testament to the high calibre of talent and excellence in the fresh produce industry of NSW and ACT.”

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