Pick of the bunch: Business thrives in trying times
IT HAS been trying times for most, but PJ's Fruit and Veg in Lismore has proved the pick of the bunch by thriving in these testing times.
Natasha and Brendon Garred, co-owners of PJ's Fruit and Veg, have witnessed demand skyrocket for their locally sourced products during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It made us flourish, to us it was busier than Christmas," Mrs Garred said.
"We had been doing our fruit and veg boxes for a few years and as soon as this all started, we went from about 40 boxes a week to about 300 a week … we had to go into another area in the centre and start packing in there and I had to get someone else to help me and luckily it was coming into school holidays so we had the juniors helping out a fair bit."
The demand has not been limited to just fruit and veg boxes though with demand also soaring for the store's delivery service.
''We've got my husband, Brendon, and my father in-law Phil helping out on deliveries and we've got another guy Shane doing deliveries as well, so that's how big it's gone, from me doing boxes and Brendon doing a few deliveries to having an extra five or six people helping out," Mrs Garred said.
Natasha and Brendon have been touched by the community support shown from the locals who have rallied around them.
"It was very warming that the community is supporting small business again … it's supporting the whole community because it supports us and the local farmers so it's a double win," Mrs Garred said.
"This is why we do it, it's why we're still here, it bought back memories of after the flood of when the community really rallied around and helped push local business, it's what Lismore is about that community."