“Keziah! Special K! How are you?!” an upbeat and energetic voice shouts through the phone at me. I’m calling our fresh fruit supplier at 9am, just to check what fruits will be available next season for our new menu. I know he has been awake since 11pm the night before packing and delivering produce, so why is he so bubbly and excited?It’s because he is extremely passionate. He wants to know how we are all going at the shop, if we are having any troubles with the product and always assures me to always contact him if ever there are any troubles.
Peter Marinos is a young greek who has been in the fresh fruit and veg distribution business in Brisbane for 6 years. When he was 17 he had friends who owned restaurants and they would constantly tell him their problems in not being able to receive good quality fresh fruit and veg with quality service. Peter jumped at this opportunity and took his own ute out to the markets 2 days a week (as he was still studying and had his own job) only to supply these 2 very friends.
Soon enough the word had spread around within the community and Peter decided to take on this business and run with it. “I’m very thankful and appreciate everyone who has supported me throughout my journey, especially to all my friends and family. The Greek community own a fair few restaurants and they really helped me out in the beginning. Greeks: we love coming together and eating together, we revolve everything around food, it’s a bonding experience. We eat, laugh, love and enjoy all of our beautiful foods together and I want others to experience this.”
Upon arrival to Big Michael’s facility out at Rocklea, Peter is munching on a banana. “I’m lucky I have beautiful fresh fruits available all the time to snack on! I always turn to bananas though they’re easy and give me energy. I started work last night at midnight (it was now 10:30am the next day) so I need the help to keep me going.
He’s quite a character, always has a smile on his face and loves to joke around. His favourite part of the job is stirring people up in the market place bartering and fooling around. The farmers send their produce to one end of the market and the buyers will check all produce and buy what they seek. Peter reassures me that he generally will only buy from the farmers he has a relationship with and knows where the product is coming from. He likes to buy locally so any farms within the South East Queensland range.
“I’m not concerned about the figures and the profit at the end of the day. I always make sure that my customers get the best produce at a fair price. I take real pride in my customers having faith in me and in return I will always provide them with a fantastic product.”
Big Michael’s has supplied KTB with fresh fruit and veg since 2014 when we first entered Brisbane City with our temporary pop up store on Adelaide St. Fresh fruit is such a major ingredient in our beautiful bowls, it’s very important to us that it is fresh, sustainably harvested and very important we are supporting the farmers. We like that Peter knows where the product is from and also that we are supporting local businesses. He delivers to the stores daily, fresh from the farmers markets.
“When the girls first approached me I immediately wanted to know their story. As a young business owner myself, I immediately had respect for them. It’s tough out there, but we both have the exact same passion, essentially. We’re both providing good quality fresh products for all consumers out there. We’ve both grown and expanded together so it’s been one hell of a ride for the both of us I think.”