Walking in to Jimmy and Toula’s Fruit and Veg shop, there’s instant evidence of something special. Visually, we were met with a rainbow of fresh produce. Each individual piece presented with what can only be described as tender love and care.
Fresh flowers, adorn the original mosaic tiled shop walls and Autumn’s top picks are highlighted with hanging displays created by Toula herself.
Community members flow in and out with huge smiles to pick up the best bounty on offer. All met with an equally enthusiastic personalised greeting from Jimmy.
‘Bye Jimmy my love’, ‘Jimmy how long will these gorgeous flowers last?’, ‘So good to see you Toula’. Just a few of the passing remarks overheard in our short visit. A kind of community feeling that is far too uncommon and usually three steps removed in today’s modern shopping experience.
Jimmy, Toula, and the entire Koustoubardis family are evidently loved in the Mosman community. Which is why, when they closed their shop for the day, for the first time in 31 years, on the day of their sons wedding, locals applauded them. Not only did some of their beloved customers attend the lavish celebration, but as Jimmy proudly shared, customers dropped off bottles of wine to the shop for weeks to come. Two years on and Jimmy and Toula are expecting their first grandchild in a mere matter of weeks.
Jimmy outside the family’s shop when it opened in 1985
At sixty nine years old, Jimmy still works a seven day week and wouldn’t have it any other way! He says that because he’s chosen a job that he loves, it’s like he hasn’t worked a day in his life. Even his daily 3am wake ups in preparation for a market trip are a part of his job that he wouldn’t trade. Particularly when he’s able to bring back fresh pine trees at Christmas or if he happens to bump in to one of the many producers or florists that he now refers to as family.
Angela who is part of the myfoodbook team has been going to Jimmy and Toula’s shop since childhood with her dad, who works with the Koustoubardis family. Here she is with fresh flowers and a juicy royal gala apple given to her by Jimmy and Toula.
The store absolutely reflects the family’s familiarity with the fresh produce industry and it’s excellence. Not because each piece of fruit is a mirror image of the next, but because Jimmy, Toula and their team, present fruit and veg, exactly how it should be presented. With no freezing involved, the produce is always incredibly fresh and daily trips to Sydney Markets, are never missed.
This old school way of doing things as Jimmy explained, is the best way! And the proof lies within the customers who get inspired with the seasonal flavours on offer, and say that their fruit and veg is still as fresh, days on from purchasing.
The simplicity of the way in which the grocer is operated is truly symbolic of it’s success. Jimmy and Toula portray the meaning behind why it’s so special to shop local and their infectious energy is absolutely inspiring to those lucky enough to step foot in their shop.
A snapshot of the incredible selection of tomatoes on offer. Displayed are gorgeous oxheart, cherry truss and globe tomatoes.
Blushing and beautiful Corella pears on display at Jimmy and Toulas Fruit and Veg shop.
Romanesco Zucchini, Flat Mushrooms and Spring Onions, fresh and ready to use at Jimmy and Toula’s Fruit and Veg shop.
Green in all it’s glory. An array of nutrients in this selection of green veg like green beans, snow peas and broccolini.
Gorgeous grapes ready for eating at Jimmy and Toula’s shop.
* Jimmy and Toula’s Fruit and Veg is located at 58a Avenue Road in Mosman, NSW. Visit them daily for the freshest produce, incredibly floral arrangements and amazing service.