When Paradise Fresh began in 1998 it wasn’t as a home delivered fruit and vegetable business. We have come a long way since our humble beginnings as a small farm producing a wide variety of lettuce types. We added herb lines and some Asian veggies to make it a profitable small farm. We grew the business by looking further afield to supply fruit and vegetable shops throughout the Central West, Northwest and New England Tableland areas of NSW – 45 shops in all within 12 months of first starting. We started with a group exporting fancy lettuce into a variety of Asian countries which was short lived when the group fell apart. OK then. I guess we will just have to start supplying one of the supermarket chains to build sales. Most people thought we were mad for even trying. After quite a few attempts and the help of some of the local supermarket staff we managed to get into supplying 5 shops of one of the big chains direct into store. The staff in these stores thought it was great – they could order what they needed 6am in the morning and have it in store by 7am, products were fresher and sales increased, they had no stock losses due to the freshness and we could land it into the stores cheaper than they could get it from there distribution centre. We were also managing to supply other local grower’s products into the supermarket as well. At that time there were 18 other growers of fresh produce within 100km of us most of which we liaised and networked with. In 2007 the supermarket phoned to say we would be finishing with them in 2 weeks – we had 13 weeks supply in the pipeline most or which we threw out. By that time only 8 of the 45 fruit and vegetable stores were left operating – they had been out marketed and people had flowed to the supermarkets for sheer convenience. Even worse only 3 of the 18 growers were left. They had few opportunities to sell their produce and could not get it into the city produce markets as they were generally already oversupplied and the distance to market was costly. It was just easier to turn there hand to other things. Thankfully, in 2001 we had begun selling a variety of local produce into local cafes and restaurants and built a wholesale business up as well. In a bid to get back to some of the retail customers we once had supplied through the supermarket chain we developed an online home delivered fruit and vegetable business – it was extremely popular and so in 2010 we franchised the concept and quickly sold other franchises into Narrabri, Dubbo and Port Macquarie. We also opened our own business in Armidale and the Northern Beaches of Sydney. We have survived but many others have not. Unfortunately these problems are consistent with what is happening across Australia. In 2015 we purchased the Farmer Bobs Fruit Market bricks & mortar stores in Tamworth with the aim of creating gourmet grocers for the locals. They have grown substantially. Now we bring it all together. Paradise Farm Markets to service our historical and current customers - online, in the shopfront stores and commercially to business customers throughout the North West and New England. The future is exiting for all of us with plenty more planned.
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I love Paradise Farmers Market. I love providing fresh fruit and veg for my family and supporting our farmers at the same time"
- Sarah T, Tamworth