It was July of 2019, and Shirley was looking for a new challenge. Having built a career in the childcare sector, so and her husband decided to purchase a community fruit and vegetable shop in the centre of Papatoetoe.
Shirley and her husband at a lot of work to do, the fruit and veg shops previous owners sold products at very competitive prices, but the quality was just not there. They wanted to source the highest quality of products but didn't know if customers would be willing to pay for quality. It took a leap of faith, but they starting building relationships with suppliers, sampling products and stocking high-quality products in their store.
Their bet paid off, Fresh Fruit and Veges currently service the local community, but also various catering and restaurant businesses, commercial entities and now customers of This Local Piggy who seek quality and authenticity in the ingredients that they purchase.
At pre-pandemic levels, the husband and wife duo had the foresight to purchase a business with a good domain (URL). And when Auckland went into level 4, their phone started ringing, emails starting to flood in from all across Auckland. They invested in the website so that it could take orders, and have since been serving customers both in the shop and online.
Shirley and her husband are looking into how to bring pacific cuisine knowledge to the massive, to share the delights and culture of Fiji.