A commitment to freshness and constant improvement has borne fruit for Ziggys at the Fyshwick markets, taking out the Sydney Markets Best Medium Greengrocer for 2019 last week.
The Irvine family business was only a few points off lifting the Greengrocer of the Year trophy, which it won in 2016.
The Sydney Markets held its annual industry awards night – The Fresh Awards – at The Star in Darling Harbour, bringing together greengrocers, wholesalers, florists and bloggers to recognise the best in the fresh produce industry.
It’s not an honour earned lightly with businesses in NSW and the ACT subject to four secret shopper reviews a year to determine semi-finalists and then unannounced judges inspections.
Owner Ken Irvine says the secret shopper review accounts for 75 per cent of scores while the judges add the rest. The list is whittled down to four finalists in each category – small, medium and large. The store with the highest score overall from any category wins the major award.
Ziggys Fresh was nominated as Best Medium Business in the Greengrocer category for both its Fyshwick store operated by Ken and wife Toni, and Belconnen operation, run by son Todd and wife Susie.
Ken says Ziggys is 100 per cent focused on retail and making it as good as it can be.
“We run a market-style shop, which means come Sunday night the shop is emptied out. Every Wednesday we’re starting out like a brand new shop opening for the first time,” he says.
“We buy three times a week and the fresh stock is going on the shelf the same day that it is coming out of Sydney.”
The other key to the family’s success is avoiding complacency by always find ways to improve.
“We actually challenge ourselves to come up with something better every week,” Ken says. “We set a goal that by the end of this week, we have to do something better than we did last week, big or little. But every week we have to make an improvement.”
That adds up when secret shoppers are taking your produce home and judges are going over your store checking signs, labelling, cool rooms and checkouts. Not to mention pleasing your customers.
Ken says the award means suppliers are keen to have their products sold in a winning store and be associated with you.
The business wins the right to use the Greengrocer of the Year logo, parking rights in Sydney and $1000 but the award has ongoing value for the family and is great news for its customers.
The Irvines are planning celebrations every Saturday at their Fyshwick markets store starting on 10 August including tastings, activities for the kids and competitions.
Ken says there will be bloggers breakfast with VIP guests on four Saturdays and a Thursday, while different suppliers will hold events in store.
The family thanked its dedicated team, suppliers and growers, as well as its loyal customers.
Ziggys fresh is located at Belconnen Markets and Fyshwick Markets.