Loyalty keeps growing
FRUIT and vegetable retailer and local legend Domenic Guadignino says the secret to lasting 40 years in the fruit and vegetable game is magic.
“Magic made me get into the fruit and vegetable game!” Domenic says with a smile. “Well I think it is magic the way you buy stuff, get it to the store and see your customers keep coming back, it’s not easy to run a fruit and vegetable shop, but the customers make it all worth it.”
Domenic came from Italy in 1972 and has lived in and around Victoria Park since. He has operated out of his current shop, Domenic’s Fruit and Vegetables, in the Park Centre for more than 30 years.
“I think the secret to my success is being good to customers,” he said.
“I always look after the older people and I donate to local charities and clubs and I always bring a box of fruit and veg to the senior citizens club every Friday as a donation for them.
“In this business you must know every customer and many of them are my friends… I am friends with everyone!” he chuckles.
Domenic is also renowned for his hard work. He rises at 4am every day and heads for the hills where he buys his fresh produce, processes orders for the day and gets things ready for sale around 6am.
“I choose the produce myself, I don’t let anyone else choose it for me.
“I try to keep my prices somewhere in the middle, so I try to keep produce quality as high as I can but always try to do the right thing by my customers and keep prices as low as I can.”
Southern Gazette recently surveyed locals about their favourite places and Domenic’s store rated highly.
Domenic is also known for his unique sense of humour.
“One day a lady lost her wallet,” he said. “It dropped on the ground and I found it and held it up and said to the people in my shop ‘has anyone lost a wallet?’ and 10 people put their hand up!” he laughs.
“But the lady came back in and was worried because she had her rent in her wallet, so I made sure I looked at the driver’s licence in the wallet and asked her name and sure enough it was her wallet.”
Domenic says he could not have lasted 40 years in the business without the support of his family.
His wife and three children help in the business, at times taking care of bookwork and other duties.
“The help from my family is vital as there is a lot of mucking around in the shop and without their help I would lose three or four hours. I also have some loyal suppliers.”