An appreciation of family values drives one of Glenferrie Road’s favourite fruit and vegetable providers. For more than 27 years, Christine and Czes Wiatr have nourished Malvern’s locals.
Over the years, they have gratefully welcomed four generations to their store – a familiar sentiment for many long-term, reliable local traders in the area.
Many a Malvern local knows Czes, the familiar and welcoming face of Fruit Nest and the one who rises at 1am to go and buy the produce. Renowned as a tireless worker, he usually finishes work about 7pm, seven days a week, but wouldn’t have it any other way. His customers have become his friends.
The store is a sight to behold with bright lighting and dramatic colours shining from the display cases. The fruit and vegies burst with freshness and almost jump in a bag to be taken home. A friendly smile welcomes customers who are often called by their first name; members of an extended family who appreciate the personalised service.
Gourmet extras line the shelves but it’s the avocadoes and Pink Lady apples that steal the show. The team sells 70 trays of Hass, Sharweil and Wurtz avocadoes. These varieties hit the spot thanks to their nutty, consistent and buttery flavours.
Some 60 trays of Pink Lady apples roll out the door, with the Fruit Nest’s grower hand-selecting the apples for their sweetness, colour and flavour. “They may cost a little more to purchase them from our store, but you will always be satisfied in eating a crunchy, juicy apple,” says Christine.
Much of the store’s success can be traced back to the great relationship Christine has with good quality growers and the friendships with her customers.
She is quick to tap into market updates on new and seasonal produce, and is always happy to respond to a customer’s specific request.
One particularly popular product is found in the freezer. Gundowring ice cream is to die for, winning myriad dairy awards for its rich, creamy milk and flavours that tap into regional and seasonal specialties. It comes from the Kiewa Valley region in Northern Victoria.
The store is open seven days a week, providing wholesale supplies to local business as well as retail offerings – from 5am to 6pm Monday to Friday, Saturdays from 5am to 4pm and on Sunday they have a bit of a sleep-in, opening from 7am to 2pm.
A warm welcome will also be found on any public holiday from 7am to 2pm.
But how’s this for a cherry on top? The Fruit Nest provides free, local home deliveries from Monday to Friday, making life easier for the elderly, new mums and anyone else who is busy and would appreciate a box of treats delivered to their front door.
"The fruit and veggies burst with freshness and almost jump in a bag to be taken home."