Fruit and vegetable store Fancee Fruit and Deli at Westfield Carindale had empty shelves and closed doors last Friday.
It has ceased trading with no known plans to relocate. Today I spoke to owner David Vedelago, who ran the business with his wife Erica, about what was behind the closure.
Mr Vedelago said a number of factors contributed to the business no longer being sustainable and unable to compete with the major supermarkets.
The shop’s rent was $45,000 a month and the workers compensation bill was $22,000 for the year.
Fancee Fruit employed about 40 staff with up to 15 staff on the floor at any one time.
“It’s an industry already at its knees,” Mr Vedelago said.
He said the growing flea market scene was also attracting people who think they are buying fresh from farmers when they are actually not.
Mr Vedelago said they had to be “a dollar or two” more expensive here and there to survive but customers don’t like higher prices. He pointed to a difficult environment for the local butcher and baker there too.
“And people go to Woolworths for everything because they are also time poor,” He said.
“They need to understand that these are the repercussions.”
Locals responded on the Carindale Connect Facebook page today:
Another business is lined up to go in their space immediately, but not sure what the business is. I heard they could not operate with rent increases and lack of local support. Another example of the big supermarkets underhanding small business … and … locals not supporting small business enough.
– Green Dean
Only place i knew where i could by the unusual things in master chef magazines. Often wondered if they read them then stocked the more obscure ingredients
– Tracey Jackson
Oh no!! I hope they can open somewhere else where they are supported by locals. A great message for all of us to keep supporting our local businesses.
– Michelle House
What factors are important to you when grocery shopping?
Price? Time? Quality? Nutrition? Supporting local businesses?