THE 2017 Sydney Markets Fresh Awards Produce Grower of the Year was won by the appropriately named business, Vegie King, of Rossmore NSW.
The award recognises Sydney Markets Fruit and Vegetable Growers who demonstrate a high degree of competence across a range of criteria including product quality, consistency, presentation and customer service.
Founded by David Chung 45 years ago, Vegie King Produce has been a staple go-to for many of NSW’s best greengrocers for almost half a century.
David and his two sons, Garry and Simon, grow an extensive range of Chinese vegetables that includes baby bok choy, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, coriander, continental parsley, rocket and dill on their 2 hectare property.
The family is known for going to great lengths to provide customers with the highest quality produce and service.
Son Garry said it’s got to be in your heart.
“When a customer sees good quality they will always buy it off you and trust you,” he said.
“Our farming principle is just basic but we’ve done a good job of our customer base as they’ve been with us forever.
“You’ve got to do everything the customer wants and if they walk away happy then I’m happy.
“As a kid I remember the main things that came out from the farm were shallots, radish, big bok choy, white radish and curly parsley.
“We stick to the main things: Chinese vegetables, and coriander and parsley are always popular.”
Garry said that in two years’ time the farm will be sold as all the development has pushed people out and most farms in the local basin are all going.
“Dad wants to semi-retire, and my brother and I hopefully want to keep the business running but we don’t know what will happen, so who knows?” he said.
“Dad says, where are all our fresh veggies going to come, from when all the farms are going?”
The family also does the growers markets around Sydney.
They find customers always ask where the produce comes from and that it is locally grown.
“I think my brother was the first to start off growers markets,” Garry said.
“Though Dad is looking to retire, he still likes to come into the market, when he’s there he’s happy.
“He was one of the ones to start off the Australian Chinese Association.
“Most of the growers are from the same village in Canton so they all know each other.
“It’s also a social thing of being there with friends.”