In days of yore, a greengrocer was in every strip shopping centre. For those who can remember, a greengrocer was a retailer of fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit and vegetables, straight from the grower.
Almost every day, Gino is up at 3.o'clock in the morning heading for the wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Epping in Melbourne's north. By 9 o'clock, he is back at Mooroolbark, topping up the display of fresh fruit and vegetables.
As part of my research for this article, I noted the prices of four popular items at Mooroolbark Fresh Fruit and the nearby supermarket. I was pleasantly surprised by the result.
Products at Mooroolbark and Supermarket
Washed potatoes $3.50 kg. & $4.00 kg. Carrots $1.99 kg & $2.90 kg Lettuce $2.80 & $3.50
Bananas $2.99 kg & $3.50 kg.
Patricia explained that one of the reasons for the disparity in prices is that greengrocers, in most cases, buy direct from the producers, while supermarkets go through distribution centres, which mean extra handling and extra time between grower and consumer.
The vegetables also look fresh and healthy. I come from four generations of market gardeners, so I know my vegetables and these are good.
Small businesses are usually big on service and part of their service is free home delivery to surrounding suburbs. This service was expanded during the COVID 19 pandemic and will continue when things return to normal.