Tell us about Fresh Organic Goods (F.O.G), what were your intentions in starting the business and how has it grown since you opened the doors to your store in Richmond?
Fresh Organic Goods or F.O.G as most people like to call it for short first began as a wholesale nut milk business and a lifestyle change for me from my previous profession as a Lawyer. I wanted to provide people with an alternate to regular milk and rather than soy (which is an over consumed product) there didn’t seem to be any other options that weren’t filled with sugar or less than 1-2% almonds in the UHT versions available. F.O.G was born and we sold three flavours of our 100% organic nut milks to cafes and wholefood store around Victoria. Since then, the wholesale leg of the business has taken a back seat and we opened our own flagship store in Richmond. Providing people with fast fresh, organic, wholesome and nutritional food and drinks. We use all of our own hand made nut milks in our coffee’s and our alternative hot beverages.
You've obviously been interested in the organics industry for a while now. What are the major shifts and changes you've witnessed and have you got any predictions as to where things are headed?
My mum is to thank for my interest and love for Organics. We were raised on only organics. My aunty and uncle owned several organic shops on the Mornington Peninsula, so it has always been a big part of my life. The industry has changed so much since those days, and organics are becoming a lot more available for people, which is so crucial for the industry and people are wanting to learn about the differences between organic and conventional foods, which is the most exciting part of all of this really. Being a part of something that is continuously growing and only becoming more prevalent in todays society. Education is the key in my opinion, people need to be educated on these topics and the importance of what it is we are putting into our bodies. People need to remember foods are seasonal and aren’t available all year round.
Your first shop is on Church Street in Richmond. Can you describe the community for us - where does F.O.G fit in?
Richmond is a very family friendly community and we have been welcomed into that community nicely. There are a lot of Yoga & Pilates studios on Bridge Road so we definitely appeal to that target market. We also have a lot of young mums and first time parents as customers, which is great to be able to help & guide them in understanding the importance and benefits of eating and feeding their families organic foods.
Your name Fresh Organic Goods tells us about the importance of fresh produce to your business. Where does most of your produce come from?
Fresh produce is key, in fact it’s probably the most essential part of our business. It is in the name of course. All of our produce is sourced locally, from farms around Victoria. We use a wholesale supplier for all of our fruit and vegetables from the Yarra Valley. We go direct to our egg and meat suppliers. We don’t use a lots of eggs or meat in our kitchen so it is easy for us to purchase these directly through the farms.
What are your plans for the future of F.O.G? We've heard you’ve just opened a new store and expanding your existing offerings to run yoga classes at the space?
My plans never end, I come up with something new I would like F.O.G. to do each day as new opportunities present themselves. As I mentioned before the industry is booming and we have come along at a great time. I think about when my Aunty & Uncle were selling wheatgrass shots and spirulina bliss balls some 20 odd years ago & were laughed at – and now they’re considered the norm, its pretty crazy really. We have just opened our second space in Abbotsford and we have plans of doing an array of different events within this space. Yoga & Pilates
What do you see as the biggest challenge to retailers in the organic, sustainable and eco-friendly food industry these days? There seems to be a wealth of products entering the market, this can be quite a challenge for consumers deciding what is of value and what isn’t, so we can image this as being equally as challenging for shop owners?
The biggest challenge for retailers within our industry I believe is awareness and quality. There are so many products claiming to be “healthy” and, or “organic” which actually are not. Unfortunately, this leads to mistrust within the community and the general public. There are so many new cafes opening every week, just like the products entering the market- a new one each day, so competition is rife. If we keep true to our name and our ethics, then I’m confident we can overcome any of these challenges, big or small. Most importantly it’s just about how to you deal with them.
Fresh Organic Goods - Richmond
276 Church Street, Richmond.
Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm
Saturday 8am - 4pm
Fresh Organic Goods - Abbotsford
247 Johnston Street, Abbotsford
Monday –Wednesday 7am – 5pm
Thursday 7am - 7pm
Friday 7am – 9pm
Saturday 8am – 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Follow Fresh Organic Goods here.