Recognising the challenges of running independent businesses in highly competitive industries, the Fresh Awards aims to celebrate the successes of local businesses and help them identify opportunities for improvement.

More than 300 independent retailers and growers across NSW and ACT participated in the program, where retailers are measured through a rigorous mystery shopping program over the course of six months.

The freshest picks were announced at a gala function at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on 19 July, with Chris Bath acting as Master of Ceremonies.

Sixty greengrocers, florists, growers and bloggers were in with a chance, but just 15 walked away with a category title and a prize package.

“Whether family run, a partnership between friends or a sole trader, independent businesses are the heart of their local communities,” says Brad Latham, Sydney Markets Limited CEO.

“From waking up at the crack of dawn daily to purchase the best picks to the back-breaking work of harvesting and picking, greengrocers, florists and growers go to great lengths to provide their customers with the freshest and highest-quality produce.

“Sydney Markets is committed to recognising their efforts and encouraging more Australians to support their local fresh produce providers.”

Family businesses were the big winners on the night, with the two top prizes, Greengrocer and Florist of the Year going to family operators, Harbord Growers Market in Balgowlah and B & M Florist in Monterey.

Greengrocer Awards

Best Small Business Winner Finalists:

  • Winner — Fruitologist, Rozelle
  • Figtree Greengrocer, Lane Cove West
  • Fruitologist, Bondi
  • Sydney’s Best Engadine, Engadine

Best Medium Business Winner and Finalists:

  • Winner — Harbord Growers Market, Balgowlah
  • Kareela Grocer, Kareela
  • Mountain Fresh Growers, Winmalee
  • Ziggy’s Fresh, Fyshwick

Best Large Business Winner and Finalists:

  • Winner — Parisi’s Food Hall, Rose Bay
  • Fruitezy Marketplace, Miranda
  • Jesmond Fruit Barn, Jesmond
  • Taste Growers Market, Zetland

Service Excellence Winner and Finalists:

  • Winner — Mountain Fresh Growers, Winmalee
  • Best Fresh Grocer, Caringbah
  • Harbord Growers Market, Balgowlah
  • Menai Top of the Crop, Menai

Retail Presentation Winner and Finalists:

  • Winner — Parisi’s Food Hall, Rose Bay
  • Jesmond Fruit Barn, Jesmond
  • Karelia Grocer, Kareela
  • Taste Growers Market, Zetland

Knowledge in Action Winner Finalists:

  • Winner — Jesmond Fruit Barn, Jesmond
  • Harbord Growers Market, Balgowlah
  • Richmond Fruit Market, Richmond
  • Taste Growers Market, Zetland

Produce Grower of the Year Award

  • Winner — Vegie King, Rossmore
  • Goldenfield Growers, Wallacia
  • Grima Fresh Farm Produces, Horsley Park
  • P J Fresh Produce Direct, Badgerys Creek

Photo credit: Adam Yip

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