A Brief History - general position:
We are a wholesaler of certified organic fruit and vegetables with a wide range of dry goods. We support our dedicated organic shops and other retailing outlets selling our produce. Unfortunately we do not have the facilities to look after the public and don’t want to be disloyal to the retailers.
We are at 16 Diagonal Road Cavan with lots of space and access. From here there is easy access to the main produce market and to transports to and from Adelaide, plus we can service both north and south of Adelaide. We are the largest wholesaler of organic fruit and veg in Adelaide and have a large dry goods range.
Our history is briefly here starting from the most recent to the oldest at the bottom.
2013- Still going, certified now by NASAA and Sci Qual since December 2012. Business is strong, but this is attracting others who think wholesaling is an easy game! Money is still an issue and at least four shops went bankrupt taking plenty of money this year. New business’s all the time a few keeping going. Staff shake-up during 2012 and 2013 but mainly new personnel coming and going, Still got the old core team of Sam John R, Bruce and Jeff
2009 The world fanatical problems affected many companies everywhere. But fortunately our small business was not affected much. We had John Lewis come to help us chase up accounts, which helped greatly.
Have working Sam, John, Bruce, Jeff and Sean. Chris Williams returned but by the end of the year needed to cut back. Cindy Boyd started late 2009.
December 24th 2008 Domonic Esposito died as the result of complications from diabetes and a heart attack. Domi had worked for us for six and a half years after being retired from Chiquita (as it was then). Domonic and I started at HL Banana at virtually the same time around about 1980 so I knew him well. He is missed.
July 2008 Twelve Years old and still going strong, finally possibly getting on top of the money and actually have some of our money in the bank. We have implimented some measures, including court action, to bring many accounts back into line. Have here Sam Aloisi, John Reichstein, Bruce Smith, Chris Williams, Sean Handebaux, and Jeffrey Thomas.
JUNE 2007 Ten Years Still puttering along, the drought has affected produce supply for everyone making it quiet. Bought green t-shirts for all the staff, very flash once you get use to them. And Thursday is Wodoga Day where we all where the white "nut" t-shirts Soester Boarde sent us. We now have Jeffery Thomas to help and changed a small Mitzi Van for a Ford Transit giving us a lot more carrying capacity. There are lots of inquiries still for organic food.
We had, in Adelaide, some interstate people thinking they saw potential in Adelaide for two more wholesalers!!! They came to try to take the market during 2006, but with some failure. Their main aim is the supermarkets.
Here in 2007 we are still going strong, the organic market is steadily picking up. The changing climate and a greater over-all sensitivity to chemicals have made many people think hard about what they eat and the way we manage our earth. The drought we are still experiencing and the changing weather patterns have contibuted to a struggle for both ourselves and the growers to keep supplies and quality up.
During October 2006 we had approaches from Organic Wholesalers Melb and Ecco Farms to buy our business, both really intended buying stores in the Adelaide Produce Markets and cutting into our market plus serving the main supermarkets and independents. Organic Wholesalers did not succeed, they found organics in the Adel Markets to be virtually nonexistent and left in March 2007 loosing their whole, once thriving, business in the Melbourne Markets soon after. We believe Ecco Farms are still here in Adelaide serving mainly the supermarkets.
JULY 2005 Replaced the small number 10 banana room with a purpose built 4 pallet banana room, very nice, not force aired though.
JUNE 2004 Seven years now and still here! Business steadily going up, seem to be getting more customers. Biggest problems is the number of small business closing up (and with them some of OUR money!).
Company History... the story from the begining
Steves Organics started June 1st 1997. Initially in direct competition to Chiquita, we started on the Monday in the spare store of Carbis Banana Agency, then moved on the Tuesday into Gores Bros. My wife and I started using our family car and a borrowed trailer with the help of Sue`s uncle Reuben. After a few months we bought a van and a while later had Ben O`Donahue to help.
After about 14 months Gores was sold and we moved in the rear of Ward Broes (again using the back of that same Carbis store to which we were next door again). By this time we had Brad Moore, Ben and Ian Steenson helping me. On moving we needed to buy a fork lift. Here we were extremely compact, we had only 8 pallet spaces of cool room and 5 pallet spaces in the store, then it was outside - rain or shine!! We were on top of each other, the office comprised a small desk containing the computer, printer, phone fax, answering machine etc!!
Then Wards moved out and we had more space but in Feb 1999 Wards was sold but we were extremely fortunate to pick up a car wreckers warehouse just outside the markets. We were at this stage unable to get any space inside the market. We were offered stores after we had moved but by then it was too late. We bought a small truck and on Friday 20th Feb 1999 we moved, that was a very long day! We borrowed trucks and forks and managed to move everything lock, stock and barrel- the locks were changed on the market store as we moved! We had a refrigerated container put in the shed that day and we were there! Next week we put up a small cool room and have used this for ripening bananas to this day. It was five weeks before we built a cool room, this was one we bought off a customer and extended giving us 20 pallets of cool room.
October 26th 1999 we had built a brand new 8 pallet therm-fresh banana room and got rid of the container. At the end of August the Ford van met an untimely end with a drunk driver hitting it and we were forced to upgrad to a Toyota long wheel base, diesel.
Tim English left in September 2000 and Sam Aloisi comenced doing most of the computer work. After Sam started we purchased a new computer and networked the two, a very useful move. In February 2000 Brad decided to join the Airforce to have a career. He is still there and happy now in Wogga. We hired Ben Johnson to replace Ben. In November 2001 we finally had built another room between the main two, it is 12 pallets and just refrigerated. They are now numbered 7 (thermfresh) 8 (latest one) 9 (big cold room) and 10 is the small banana room.