JUGGLING ACT: Mark Berry at his new Parkhurst shop, Berry Good Produce.
JUGGLING ACT: Mark Berry at his new Parkhurst shop, Berry Good Produce. Jann Houley

New CQ business supports our local growers

FROM small beginnings Mark Berry has grown to expand his market business to a permanent shop front.

Mr Berry began a market stall five years ago selling fruit and vegetables grown on his Glenlee farm.

He held stalls at the Yeppoon Community Markets, the Kern Arcade Markets and occasionally the Heritage Village Markets.

Mark Berry takes out heaviest pumpkin at the 2009 Growers' awards
Mark Berry takes out heaviest pumpkin at the 2009 Growers' Awards. Jann Houley

Just after Christmas he started up a weekend stall at Parkhurst Town Centre.

"It's just something that grew.... Rocky didn't have anything like this in the shopping centres,” Mr Berry said.

"Just to have a personal service that has worked with fruit and vegetables all their life, growing them and buying off local farmers.

"I've been a farmer and market gardening for most of my life at different times.”

As customers continued to flock to the Parkhurst stall, the centre owners offered Mr Berry a tenancy to operate seven days a week.

"It's been a brilliant response, people are travelling from Emu Park and Yeppoon... from St Lawrence and all the northern communities coming in and supporting us,” he said.

At his store, Berry Good Produce, Mr Berry's number one priority is looking after local farmers.

"If we don't look after our farmers we have to grow our own food,” he said.

He likes to support local and save trucks having to travel to Brisbane only to come back up to again as the produce goes into the major grocery stores.

His grandfather in 1922 in the same patch near Glenlee where Mark Berry farms pumpkins today
His grandfather in 1922 in the same patch near Glenlee where Mark Berry farms pumpkins today. Jann Houley

The store's pineapples are sourced from Yeppoon, Pursehouses' pumpkins and capsicums from The Caves, sweet potatoes from the Wikinsons, Rossmoya, oyster mushrooms from Pink Lily and zuchinnis from Coowoonga.

A retired Coowoonga couple supply eggpplant, snowpeas and heritage tomatoes, Dululu Citrus fruit, Bushwood Nursery plants and hydroponic lettuce from Gracemere.

In other food products, the store stocks Dynamic Eggs from Lake Mary, Kev's Jerky made in Marmor, Vass' macadaemias and oils at Byfield and local honey from Bees 2U and CQ Honey.

What Mr Berry can't get locally, he tries to get out of Bundaberg or the closest areas.

He also has plans of expanding the lines as he builds up the business.

Next week he will start stocking Kingaroy peanuts and products and hopes to eventually source products like local milk, goat milk soap, Queensland cheeses, olives and oils.

BERRY GOOD PRODUCE

Fruit and vege store selling local produce and products

Parkhurst Town Centre, opposite Brumby's

Open weekdays 8am - 6pm, Saturday 8am - 4pm and Sunday 8am - 3pm