During 2019, Northside Produce Market celebrates it’s 20th year of trading. We couldn’t have done it without all of the dedicated North Sydney Community Centre staff and volunteers, our wonderful customers and of course all of our fabulous stallholders. Throughout the year we will feature some of the stallholders so that you can discover a little more of their story.
Steven Adey was destined to be a specialist grower. He not only grew up on a hobby farm but his family had their own restaurant in Glebe from 1989, which gave him the opportunity to experiment with growing. “I started to use the hobby farm commercially by growing lots of produce for the restaurant, then I started supplying other restaurants and things took off from there,” explains Steven having established the Darling Mills Farm in 1987 on the Darling Mills Creek in Castle Hill. In 1999, Steven claimed his regular spot at Northside Produce Market, the same year that he bought a property in Berrilee, near Berowra Waters. By 2001 this had become the new site for the farm. Along with selling directly to the public at the market, today the business supplies around 55 restaurants with an enormous variety of salad leaves, herbs, micro-herbs and edible flowers. “Everything is grown on the farm. We source high-quality seed varieties from all over the world and offer a mixture of greenhouse, hydroponic and organically grown produce,” says Steven. Steven is very proud of the fact that Darling Mills Farm has become a family affair. “My son Max is a chef, so he uses our products in his cooking and also works on the farm”. His range of products is constantly expanding from his popular olives marinated with herbs to a range of dips and salad dressings that are innovative and a taste sensation much like the new ingredients that Steven discovers and then grows. Max along with Steven’s daughter Louella and his sisters Susan and Cynthia work at their Northside Produce Market stall. “We all really like the direct contact with people that appreciate what we do”.
When Luciano and Mary Schettini took over Pastabilities back in 2010, their goal was to add to the existing range of pastas and continue the company tradition of focusing on flavour without using any additives or preservatives. Made with fresh herbs, vegetables and premium ingredients, the innovative range now comprises 28 ravioli, five gnocchi and four lasagne flavours, along with a wide variety of flat pastas, sauces and pestos. Operating out of Marrickville, Pastabilities is a regular fixture at Northside Produce Market. “Being part of the Northside community gives us a chance to meet and speak with our retail customers face to face, and to get their honest feedback,” says Luciano. “Universally they say that our pastas are the best! The raviolis are our most popular products and all of our regular customers have their favourite flavours – it takes a lot of will power on their part to try something new.” According to Luciano, another benefit of being at the market is forging close friendships with both customers and other stallholders: “It’s great to see families over the years – we hear about all about engagements, marriages and births, and get to see kids grow up under our noses!”