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A REFLECTION FROM JANENE DRAPER

A REFLECTION FROM JANENE DRAPER

On August 31, 2006 we opened the doors to Farro Fresh in Lunn Ave, Mt Wellington. It had taken just over two years to get to that point after talks with everyone from retailers to chefs and food lovers all around New Zealand.

Starting with a team of just 12, we learnt so much in our first year of food retail and while there were a lot of very long days, a few tears and frustrations, there were also some amazing people who supported and encouraged us and helped to make Farro a real destination in the food community.

There are three from the original team still with us, and they are part of our head office team today; they still play a vitally important role in making Farro what it is. Their dedication alongside us has been so incredible and this year’s birthday is also a celebration and a thank you not just to them, but to all those others who have been with us on this journey – everyone from the original group of producers who were brave enough to back and supply us; Ray McVinnie, who was an amazing resource and gave us food credibility; and those original customers who we still see shopping at Lunn Ave.

Our aim was to be Your Everyday Fresh Market, a one-stop shop for true cooks and food lovers to come and get everything under one roof – from quality freshly baked breads to high-quality produce, beautiful cheeses cut to order and the best charcuterie we could find. My philosophy was that if something was in a cookbook, Farro Fresh would stock it, so everything – from basic to hard-to-find ingredients would be on the shelves so it would truly be a one-stop shop.

We wished to support NZ artisan producers and give them a first entry into the market place. We started stocking many items only found at farmer’s markets around the country and worked with them to realise volume and a more commercial viability of their livelihood through Farro Fresh.

From day one, Farro set out to provide tastings of products so the customer could learn about the providence of the food, have a chat about their own experience of what New Zealand food was to them and, ideally, our aim was to open people’s eyes and taste buds to the amazing array of products we have right here on our doorstep. There was no need to seek out imported lines as we had something better, more delicious and with more of a production story (that we all understood as it was part of our own culture and country).”

We’ve all been talking about what life was like before Farro. And not just for those of us who eat, breath and sleep Farro every day of our lives, but for everyone out there who calls Farro their happy place, their speciality store for special occasion cooking, their ingredient shop, their everyday fresh market –whatever you call it, we can’t remember what we did before we had Farro!

Ten years may have passed and while we’ve learnt so much, we are still growing and we take each day as an opportunity to learn something new, bring you something delicious and keep looking to the future of food and what will be the next big thing.