Loy­alty keeps grow­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Business -

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.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Domenic Guadignino.

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