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




Magistrate sends man's 'serious' sex act case to district court

FILE PHOTO: Gladstone Courthouse, Yarroon St.

Sex intruder case 'serious', goes to District Court

Busy Gladstone facility to receive $3m revamp

Community and youth development officer Bec Frost is really happy about the new funding for the PCYC. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

The expansion will boost jobs too, with a "locals first” focus.

Bail refused for man accused of having 7.6g ice in car

FILE PHOTO: A drug analysis has yet to be completed but Gladstone man David Johnson has been charged with having 7.6g of ice.

Bail refused for fencer after police find ice in his car

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"