Business

Fruit shop makes meal out of boom in workers

FRESH TUCKER: Phill McCormack and Helen Whittaker, and their staff at Gladstone Fruit Shop, have found a niche market catering fresh, healthy, homemade meals for workers to pick up in the early hours of the morning before they head to Curtis Island.
FRESH TUCKER: Phill McCormack and Helen Whittaker, and their staff at Gladstone Fruit Shop, have found a niche market catering fresh, healthy, homemade meals for workers to pick up in the early hours of the morning before they head to Curtis Island. Mike Richards

BACON and egg breakfast rolls, re-heatable meals and homemade cakes have become a staple part of the Gladstone Fruit Shop.

Owners Phill McCormack and Helen Whittaker have been in the fruit industry their whole lives, but when the Curtis Island projects came to Gladstone they saw an opportunity to diversify.

More than 250 workers pass through their doors before 7am, with at least 700 customers in total every day.

Their team of workers begin cooking from 3.30 every morning to make bacon and egg breakfast rolls and homemade meals.

Ms Whittaker said it became a "one-stop shop" where people could get hot meals, their newspaper, smokes and coffee.

"We've always had fruit shops, but when this event came to town we saw these guys had to have their food," she said.

"We do all the catering for the company's training sessions, too."

Mr McCormack said they had employed more people to help with the catering, and the 15 staff did a great job keeping up with the hungry hoards.

"We haven't had to put any staff off, but we also haven't put any new ones on," he said, with construction beginning to slow down.

When asked whether they were prepared for a downturn when construction finished, Ms Whittaker said it was on their minds but it was still a few years off.

"We've got a good clientele around here as well. It's not just the island workers who buy from us," she said.

"A lot of people that don't want to cook, still want a fresh, homemade meal."

She said they also looked after a few of the restaurants and hotels around town, and had begun to take part in the PCYC markets, as well as catering for gluten-free and other dietary requirements.

Topics:  business profile curtis island gladstone business mining boom



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Thieves flog public art installation

MISSING ART: The signs, part of a work by Gladstone artist Felicia Lloyd, were installed at and stolen from Apex Park.

THE work was gone within 12 hours of being installed.

Mine worker questioned over time spent in ute

All hands were on deck fixing a dragline while fitter Brice Little was reclined in his ute listening to the radio- but was he asleep?

Fair Work to decide if BMA mine worker was asleep or bludging

UPDATE: Woman dead after Gladstone CBD horror crash

HORRIBLE: An accident at the Queensland Rail Institute hall has left someone dead.

A WOMAN has died in a car crash in Gladstone's CBD.

Local Partners

Chris Pratt's 'mental preparation' for going nude on screen

Actor Chris Pratt

New film took some mental preparation for Chris Pratt

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!