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




UPDATE: Hanson Rd open, chemical spillage cleaned from fatal crash

A driver had died in a crash on Hanson Rd.

POLICE investigate the death of a 23-yearold in yesterday's crash.

POLICE NEWS: Thieves, drink drivers and fights on Gladstone streets

A man and woman were arrested following a police chase last night at Blacksoil.

The police had a busy night patrolling Gladstone region streets

Gladstone's 'anti-fluoridation cowboys' won with 'fear campaign': Opinion

Dripping Tap: Fears water rates will soar in the coming years. Photo: Griffith Thomas / The Satellite IS160911WATER

This letter writer does not want fluoride taken out of our water

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles