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

15 jobs up for grabs for tradies and labourers

READY TO WORK: Here are 15 jobs you can apply for today.

CQ companies have continued the call for workers.

'Exposed': Power companies, State MP hit back at smelter cuts

Boyne Smelters general manager operations Joe Rea announced job cuts due to increased power prices.

Politicians war of words over BSL's call to cut jobs and production.

'Refused': State MP says smelter had "ample” time to save jobs

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher pins a white ribbon on Boyne Smelters General Manager Joe Rea at a community function.

Glenn Butcher says BSL were "rolling the dice” for past two years

Local Partners

The best of SUNfest on show

SUNfest 2017 wraps up on Friday night with showcase event.

New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

11 huge events coming to Gladstone in the next 6 months

Events coming up in Gladstone in 2017.

Your guide to exciting events coming to the Gladstone region

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

'Hot, sweaty, wild' Barnsey here on Saturday

Jimmy Barnes will be performing at Marley Brown Oval tomorrow.

"Hot, sweaty, wild”: Barnsey's in Gladstone

Jimmy Barnes Gladstone show not a sell out

Jimmy Barnes will be performing in Gladstone on Saturday at the Harvey Road Tavern.

PLENTY of tickets still available

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Gladstone market's confidence coming back for 2017

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 16.7% to $275,000 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 16.7% to $275,000

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!