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  • Writer's pictureSheree Hoddinett

1,000m2 of Fresh Produce

As one of the biggest independent fruit and veg stores on Brisbane’s northside, Skippy’s was flooded with thousands of customers on its opening weekend alone.


With a strong family background in the fruit and vegetable industry, it was inevitable that Sam Etri and Nic Quintili would also go down the same path. The dynamic duo, who ventured into the fruit and veg business as teenagers, are the faces (directors) behind Skippy's Market Fresh at Rothwell. The store, the third in operation for Etri, opened to much fanfare late last year, proving to be quite a popular destination for many locals in the area.


“...when it comes to the quality and probably even the price, we've got the edge.”

As one of the biggest independent fruit and veg stores on Brisbane's northside, coming in at 1000m2 of retail space, Skippy's was flooded with thousands of customers on its opening weekend alone. With a steady stream of customers continuing to make their way through the doors since, Etri and Quintili are more than happy with how things are progressing. So, what sets this store apart from others like it in the area? A combination of product knowledge and going the extra mile certainly have much to do with it.


"Compared to the bigger supermarket chains, I go to the market at Rocklea to source our stock every day," Etri says. "And when a truck arrives at the shop, a lot of that stock goes straight out on to the floor for customers. It's not put into storage for a lengthy period of time before it goes out on show.


"So, when it comes to the quality and probably even the price, we've got the edge."


"Also, with the customer service side of things, if you have a special request, we'll order it in for you," Quintili adds. "We'll go that extra step for customer satisfaction.

"If you want to try a piece of fruit or a vegetable, we'll make it happen."


Buying products daily from the markets means Etri can provide customers with a large range of fresh produce straight from thousands of Aussie farms and support local businesses and growers who are also families just like their own.


"We know in this area here, there is a lot of families, big families too," Etri says. "The way we have set the shop up is for a family to come in, do their shop and save money on that shopping and we know they will save compared to at the bigger retailers."


"We've also got a lot of the grocery items that you'll find that the supermarket don't sell like European lines and we have a big variety of it all too," Quintili adds. "There's gherkins, there's fish, there's glad wrap, there's toothpaste. We've tried to make it like a one-stop-shop and by the time they get down to the registers they have the butcher there too. It all works in together."


With every good part of business comes a downside, which Quintili highlights as "waking up early every day". When he says he's waking up early, he's not kidding either. While most of us are still asleep, we're talking 2.45am, Quintili and Etri are making their way to work. But it's not all bad, with Etri also talking about the positive side of running a business.


"Yes you're in business to make money, but for me, the best part is I love seeing the customers in the shop," Etri says. "We’re here for them and to provide them with the best shopping experience with the best products we can offer.


“Take for example, our store at Victoria Point, I think we serve about four and a half to 5000 customers a week. So I sit back and I'm thinking okay we sold products to 5000 customers this week. That's 5000 families, that's a lot and it’s a lot of food from one store. I get a kick out of it knowing where it’s going. Whether you make heaps of dollars or 50 cents off something, at the end of the week, you still get the satisfaction out of it all.” With a team of almost 30 staff (all locals), Skippy’s is also on the hunt for more crew to join the ranks in various positions including experienced fruiterers.


Skippy’s Market Fresh also offer a wide range of speciality and continental products including cheeses, nuts, biscuits, cold meats and dried pasta. You’ll find Skippy’s located at the Rothwell Central Shopping Centre, 743 – 757 Deception Bay Road, Rothwell (in the same complex as Officeworks). The shop is open seven days a week from 7am - 7pm Monday – Friday and 7am-6pm on weekends. For further info visit skippysfreshfrootz.com.au.

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