Stallholder Features: Banana Bar + Vegie King

During 2019, Northside Produce Market celebrates its 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.

Tutor: Banana Bar

We've nicknamed stallholder Michael Fanning of the Banana Bar stall the 'Fruit Detective’. This is due to his success in uncovering fruit that has been grown by farmers, committed to growing produce with real flavour as a result of their good and responsible farming methods. "I grew up visiting my grandparents banana plantation near Mullumbimby and became familiar with good growing practices and what wonderful flavour the humble banana can have if grown in a responsible way, in a climate where the fruit stays on the tree for as long as possible before it is harvested. That is the secret for all great tasting fruit, which is sadly lacking today. The Northside Produce Market provides me with an opportunity to give customers a chance to experience first hand what fruit should taste like. Sadly, we have become accustomed to fruit being bland and bad and we throw it out. There is no good reason for this and it is a crying shame. If we look a bit further there are fruiterers we can trust and kids will eat fruit instead of lollies, if given a chance. It is worth looking a little further than a supermarket."

Tutor: Vegie King

Simon Chung of stall Vegie King used to go to the markets with his Dad when he was young during school holidays. His grandfather came to Australia in the mid 70s and put whatever money they had into a farm that they established in the late 70’s in Austral - near Kemps Creek. Towards the end of Simon's high school days, he wanted to start farming because of the potential he saw however he went on to study a year of accounting but then realised it wasn’t for him. In 1999 he took over the family farm which was no longer operating and in 2007 his brother Gary joined him. They have definitely grown since then becoming wholesalers out at Flemington market and winning the prestigious 'Grower of the Year' Sydney Markets award in 2017. Vegie King joined Northside Produce Market in 2002 and one of the things that Simon is really appreciative about having a stall at the market is "the customers who support every Northside Produce Market and really drive my team and I to do the best we can. They are truly interested in the produce and how we survive in all conditons”.