a family business
Aherns Fruit Market & Fine Foods is perhaps best described as a greengrocer, deli and health food store rolled into one. The business began nearly 38 years ago in the small country town of Foster – an important supply base for the Wilson’s Promontory area amidst the beautiful rolling hills of South Gippsland in southern Victoria.
Owners Paul and Mary-Ann Ahern are a case study in survival. Longevity in business is an achievement in itself. It is assisted by long-term relationships with growers and suppliers and mutual respect within the industry.
When the shop opened in 1983 it was one of a dozen fruit shops in the region. It is now the only remaining fruit shop in the area, and its reputation for providing an unrivalled food-shopping experience is well deserved and a testament to the family’s ability to adapt and meet the changing needs of its customers.
From humble beginnings, Aherns has grown into a fine food market with a reputation stretching way beyond the town of Foster.
As well as quality fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet goods and hard-to-find ingredients, the store has a fabulous range of organic, gluten-free and health foods and selections of locally-produced olive oils and cheeses.
Our customers know we share their interest and passion for food. A champion of local produce, Paul’s own Gippsland Grown label can be spotted throughout the store.
The outstanding shopfront experience is matched by a wholesale service that extends throughout the area to towns within an hour’s drive.
This is truly a family business. Paul grew up in the fruit and vegetable industry and his three sons worked with their parents though seasonal holidays during their studies.
A love of Foster, strong community ties and a desire to deliver the best quality service to customers has driven the business.
For Paul and May-Ann, living where you love it and finding work that you like can only be bettered by getting good at both. They understand that their customers make a choice to shop with them, and that it is imperative that service, quality, variety and point-of-sale knowledge is deeply ingrained into the business ethos.
No one can know the future, and for Paul and Mary-Ann there’s plenty to contemplate. Generational change, the increasing challenges of small-business management and how the sector maintains its identity and reputation are just some of the issues. However, the family knows that providing quality fresh produce along with personal service will always be appreciated and supported.
Locating where you like to live and finding a job that you like can only be bettered by getting good at both.Paul Ahern