TUCK IN: Ghost Gully Produce owner Gary Samuelsen, with some of his products at Spanos Supa IGA Gatton.
TUCK IN: Ghost Gully Produce owner Gary Samuelsen, with some of his products at Spanos Supa IGA Gatton. ALI KUCHEL

Independent grocery store seeks local producers, growers

WHILE he makes it a priority to stock local fresh produce wherever possible, Spano's Supa IGA owner Frank Spano said finding growers and producers in Gatton was a challenge.

Being an independent grocer, Mr Spano said he wanted to buy locally and sell locally by stocking fresh produce from the region.

Having spent the past eleven years running groceries stores, he noticed shoppers preferred to buy products that came from local sources.

"As a business we want to support our local growers and producers,” he said.

Mr Spano bought a supermarket in Stanthorpe in 2008, and now owns three IGAs across regional Queensland: A store in Warwick as well as the Gatton store.

He said, while it was easy to find local stockists for his other stores, it was a different story in Gatton.

"We're having a difficult time finding growers who want to work with us,” he said.

"We do it very successfully with local growers and local producers in Stanthorpe.”

For the past few years, Mr Spano "sporadically” tried to attract local producers, with little luck.

"We get some wins but then they die off,” he said.

Presently stocking the produce and goods of about 15 local producers, Mr Spano's other two stores stocked products that showcased their regions.

"In addition to that, buying local produce creates local jobs and supports the community,” he said.

Mr Spano said he wanted to local producers.

"We want to showcase what the Lockyer Valley has.

"We would invite any local producer, farmer or grocery manufacturer to reach out to us to look at potential ranging and supplying opportunities,” he said.


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