Ugly Duck Preserves
Sunshine Coast IGA retailers Roz and Michael White lead with a local first mentality and support local producers and suppliers wherever possible via their Locavore Food Program. A locavore is a person who chooses to consume food that is grown, raised or produced locally, and Roz and Michael now stock hundreds of products from over 80 local producers on the shelves of their stores.
One of those products is Ugly Duck Preserves, a range of fruit spreads, chutney, relishes and fruit pastes, created using imperfect, non-standard and surplus produce that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Owner of Ugly Duck Michelle Mascher started the business after learning that 795,000 tonnes of fruit produced in Australia was rejected at farm level annually. “I saw how much produce was getting wasted for superficial imperfections and I decided that something better could be done with that produce. We originally started stocking our products at famers markets and small delis, but White’s IGA were the first to stock our products on a larger scale. This gave me a great deal of confidence in my products and it was when Ugly Duck became a real brand.”
Roz White said: “We started stocking her range in all our stores as quickly as we could, and our customers couldn’t be happier!”
Michelle continued: “We have grown so quickly in such a short space of time and I am now aiming for nationwide distribution. Some people say they support local, but Roz truly lives and breathes this and what she has done for so many local producers is amazing.”
The D’Anna family, which this ad is based on, are proud owners of Boccaccio Supa IGA Balwyn. They’re passionate about sharing their love of food and wine with their customers, who are more like friends and family.
Their impressive cheese bar is stocked with over 1,000 cheeses, and their team of five cheesemongers work hard to keep their customers worded up on the best cheeses to suit their tastes. Despite their extensive offering, there was one customer who couldn’t find what he was after…
Anthony D’Anna said: “Adam, a regular customer of ours, was telling us about this blue cheese that was made in his village in Ireland, that he had never seen in Australia. He had been trying to track it down for ages, with no success and just wanted a little taste of home.
The team at Boccaccio IGA were able to locate the Cashel Irish Blue and made plans to surprise Adam next time he was in store.
Adam said: “I popped in to do my weekly shop and was over the moon when they surprised me with my favourite cheese from home. I couldn’t believe that they had gone to such an effort on my behalf, but it is just the type of people they are.”
Shopping Local Means More Than You Realise
You’re not just stocking your pantry when you shop at IGA, you’re helping to support your community. Because it helps us employ more locals, sell more local produce, and support local charities which means the local communities that we live in and love can thrive.
Tony Ingpen, proud owner of Mt Evelyn IGA says that life during a global pandemic has been hard in Melbourne over the past year.
“As borders closed, lock downs were put in place and panic buying set in, we were run off our feet, but did whatever we could to keep the shelves full for our local shoppers,” said Tony.
“During this challenging time everyone was working long hours so we could get stock on the floor. We had to make sure that we were looking after our local community ensuring that no one went without and I employed 13 additional staff members in one day to keep up with demand.”
“We took on the entire staff of the beauty salon that was forced to shut down, a girl who lost her dream job at Disney Land and the local spray painter amongst many and we are thankful that we were able to welcome back many old staff who had been stood down from their jobs because of COVID.
“Many of the staff we took on have gone back to their old roles, but we are grateful for the support that our local community gave us which allowed us to employ and support more locals.”
Linh Nguyen, owner of Thai Kee IGA is always looking for ways that they can give back to the locals and that opportunity came, when all the restaurants in the busy centre were forced to close down
“Our store is part of a bustling centre and all the restaurants were forced to close down at the beginning of the Pandemic,” said Linh. “Walking past the food court every day, seeing the restaurants of friends, people I have known for many years closed and dark was devastating, and we knew that we had to help.
“We came up with the idea of stocking restaurant meals in the supermarket, so they could keep on preparing meals in their kitchens and keep on their staff. We started small and ended up stocking meals from 10 local restaurants, which were incredibly popular.”
Linh’s team was credited with saving many China Town eateries from permanent closure and even after the restaurants have been able to reopen, the store still stocks these meals and continues to look out for other local businesses.
Linh continued: “We are so thankful of the support of our local customers. We always look out for local businesses and everyone’s support has allowed us to help other local businesses survive through these difficult times.”
Supporting local charities, schools and organisations has and always will be important to the team at Pearsall IGA.
“Over the past year in addition to our regular customers, we have seen many new faces come through our doors. Their decision to shop local and support a family owned business like ours has allowed us to continue to support many local charities, when they needed it more than ever,” said Lee-Anne Woodgate, owner of Pearsall IGA.
“There has been a massive increase in demand for services over the past year and we feel really privileged that we are able to provide fresh food, care packs and as a family help prepare hot meals to help the homeless. We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of our local shoppers.
“Shopping local really does mean so much more than you may have realised. So, from our family and on behalf of each and every one of the independent family owned IGA stores across the country we say a heartfelt thanks, because IGA is where the locals matter.”
Local Fresh is Best
Adelaide IGA retailer Joseph Romeo and his family are passionate about providing the freshest locally sourced products for their customers wherever possible and supporting local businesses like their own.
This mentality has seen many South Australian products on the shelves of their stores and the development of many longstanding relationships with local farmers and producers including Adelaide Hills cherry farmers Kersbrook Cherries and Bandiera Cherries, which inspired this TV advert.
Eight years ago, the Romeo family drove out to these local cherry farms to introduce themselves and discuss working together. Over the years this has developed into a longstanding partnership that sees the Romeo Family purchasing over 90% of their crops for their stores.
Joseph said: “We have been purchasing most of the crop from Kersbrook and Bandeira Cherries every Christmas for the last eight years. Because of our close relationship we have the cherries picked, packed and on the shelves in store within 24 hours. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! ”
“This is just one of the many ways that we are able to bring local to life, sourcing products from a farm that is within a 1km radius of the store, ensuring that our customers get the best quality fresh produce possible.”
The Joy of Discovery
The Piedimonte family, whose story inspired this TV advert, have been involved in the Australian grocery business since 1958 and have been proud to share a little piece of their Italian heritage with their customers over the years.
In their IGA stores in North Fitzroy, Melbourne they pride themselves on providing unique products for their customers that they can’t find anywhere else and stock a range of specialty Italian goods which they import from Italy.
One of those products is Maina Panettone.
Joe Piedimonte says: “Panettone is a Christmas staple in our household, and we started importing a range of panettone and torrone 20 years ago so that we could meet the demands of our Italian customers and share some of our Christmas traditions with our other customers.
“We are locals and know what our customers want and are really proud that we can share a little piece of Italy with them. We are really proud that we are able to stock products that people can’t get anywhere else and that make our customers happy.
“You definitely don’t have to go to Italy to get something special over Christmas – you can get it right here in Melbourne.”