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Spotlight on: Cleveland Fruit Barn and legendary fruiterer, Joe Guglielmino

Spotlight on: Cleveland Fruit Barn and legendary fruiterer, Joe Guglielmino

Recently we caught up with Joe from Cleveland Fruit Barn about his 35 years of  experience in the fresh produce industry, his passion for visiting the markets each morning to hand-pick the very best quality fruit and veg and his love of a good fruit pun! (who doesn't, right?!) Yes Joe, you do have a lovely bunch of coconuts. 

Joe is meticulous in the running of his store - and it's very evident from the moment you walk in that the focus is on quality - from the carefully curated and fastidiously arranged fruit and veg displays, to the enviable array of international groceries, gourmet ingredients and kitchen essentials. It really is an amateur chef's paradise. 

We asked Joe how the quality of his produce is so consistently great, compared to other retailers. His answer was simple - it's his knowledge of produce and his broad network of wholesaler contacts, along with not having fixed supplier agreements. He said this gives him the flexibility to select the very best from the very widest range of produce available on any given day. 

"I'm not afraid to walk away from something that sounds like a great deal if the quality just isn't up to scratch." Joe says. "I won't buy something that isn't quality - I just can't do it. My customers expect that the quality will be at a level, so I really just hand pick it on their behalf". I do try to provide bulk options for many staples for the budget conscious, but even then I won't sacrifice on the quality".

Along with fresh market produce, Joe's team curates a catalogue of premium local and international chilled and pantry items. From cheeses, dips, antipasto, and flavoured yoghurts to chutneys, local honey, Italian and Asian staples - we'll be honest, each day when we arrive we find something new!

Cleveland Fruit Barn is a true family affair with Joe's partner Anita, son Jordan and sister-in-law Rosie - all helping to run the store and keep it ship shape.

This week Joe and his team are celebrating that slight warmth in the air - yes, Spring is (finally) here and has brought an abundance of beautiful produce with it!
"We're now seeing great value and quality on items like strawberries, avocados, mandarins, lemons and pears. Kensington Pride mangoes are starting to make an appearance while berries and avocados are at their very best" Joe says.

We’ll be rolling out 'Joe’s Seasonal Updates' shortly, to bring you the lowdown on how to shop seasonally - because shopping seasonally is the smartest way to shop locally, for both your wallet and your health.

Here's to an abundance of top quality, spring fruit and veges!

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