Produce king Domenic Gerace thought he’d seen it all after more than 50 years in the fruit and vege game.
But the humble Harbord Growers’ patriarch tells host Chris Bath that he was floored by his win in the Greengrocer of the Year category at the recent Sydney Markets Fresh Awards held at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
“We never expected to win; I have to admit it was a complete shock,” says a stunned Domenic, who despite officially retiring, still fronts to help his sons Amerigo and Anthony in the Balgowlah Stockland store every day.
Domenic, who opened his first shop in 1965, says the key to his long-running success in delivering the freshest fruit and vegetables possible is simple.
“Perseverance, consistence and your customer should be your priority in quality, service and civility,” he says.
“It’s a passion. Unless you have a passion, you can’t succeed.”
That desire to please his loyal fan base has clearly rubbed off on son Amerigo who didn’t hesitate to follow in his dad’s footsteps, he tells Chris.
“There’s always something different every day, you get to meet different people every day so it’s always new and exciting,” he says.
Amerigo also tells Chris that he’s always striving to improve and enhance the customer experience.
Finalists in the second annual Fresh Awards had three visits from a mystery shopper over a six-month period. After each visit, businesses were given a report.
“We were critiquing ourselves from the mystery shoppers [feedback] so we were improving step-by-step. And yeah, it all paid dividends.”
Category finalists were picked from a field of 160 NSW and ACT greengrocers.
The Carousel is a proud sponsor of The Sydney Markets’ 2017 Fresh Awards.
Check out the other winners of the 2017 Fresh Awards night here: