Wednesday September 9 Meeting – The Little Vegetable
Jack and his partner Belle run ‘The Little Vegetable’, an organic grocery store in East Ivanhoe village.
Having grown up in Alphington Jack knows the area well. After closure of another similar business in Waterdale Road Jack and Belle seized the opportunity to start on their own. In June 2018 they took the brave step and opened their own store at 253 Lower Heidelberg Road.
Jack’s positive philosophy is exemplified by his saying“ You miss every shot you don’t take.” Of course Jack and Belle didn’t factor Covid-19 into their business plan. They have had to work harder as a result, with lots of cleaning, sanitising and home deliveries – hard on the back.
Jack and Belle are grateful for on-going support from customers. They only sell Australian seasonal organic produce, which they mainly obtain from the Melbourne Market Authority.
Some of the more specialised products include ‘Ethical milk’ – produced under Hindu principles – don’t kill male calves, retired cows go to a sanctuary in Werribee. Priced at $9 for 2L – clearly not everyone can afford ethical produce! Other locally produced items include hot sauces called ‘Melbourne Hot Sauce’ and mushrooms from a Heidelberg grower (Simon the mushroom man).
Jack and Belle have plans to move into juices and small-scale light food prep. They are waiting for Covid to pass.
Jack told us the most important thing is word of mouth advertising. Banyule is a very tight knit community. He also believes it is important to continue to think positively even in current times of challenge.
For more info about The Little Vegetable check out their Facebook page here.
Wednesday September 16 Meeting – Tracey Robson-Garth
Tracey Robson-Garth’s parents emigrated from Ireland to Aus-tralia and started their new life in West Heidelberg. The family later moved to Rosanna.
Tracey said she always had an entrepreneurial bent, and was very keen on physical activity. She wanted to become a profes-sional football (soccer) player, but an injury when she was 19 put a stop to those plans.
Tracey worked in a range of fitness and health and wellness businesses before starting her own business, called “Yummy Mummies”. This quickly grew into a franchise with 20 locations, however Tracey found that this growth was too fast and decided to close it down. She started a small gym that was operating at full capacity before the impact of Covid caused the doors to close on 23rd of March. This health and wellness business has now been completely shifted online and membership has increased. The business still employs five staff and Tracey has no intention of opening the physical location until we reach ‘Covid normal’.
Tracey makes full use of online social media to promote her business, as well as to receive information and news about the world. She believes many others do as well, and suggests that Rotary needs to recognise that this is the direction many young people are heading, i.e. social media for world news and information.
A pdf copy of the bulletin can be found here. RC of Ivanhoe 23 Sep 2020