A Bygone Era

Owning a fruit & veg shop on Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn for 37 years, former business owner Maria says she and her family can “never forget our Glenferrie Road". Moving to Australia from Italy at the age of seven and leaving school to work with her dad at the family owned fish and chip shop on Springvale Road, Springvale, Maria knew she wanted to be a business woman.

In 1967, at the age of 21, living in Footscray and only having been married for a few weeks, Maria went to look for a location to open her future fruit & veg shop. She took a taxi to Glenferrie, looked at the shop and within a week had moved into the Glenferrie Hawthorn shop with her husband where they lived above until 1980.Back then there were numerous fruit & veg shops along the street, unlike today where Maria notices the vast amount of cafes and takeaway food shops. Running the fruit & veg shop was a difficult task back then, when it was personal service. Maria and her family that worked at the shop would be told what customers needed and then personally pick the fruit and vegetables in the shop.


All items would then be wrapped in newspaper and Maria was always sure that each customer left happy and with the best of the produce. “You don’t have that sort of service anymore” explains Maria and has observed that the number of fruit & veg shops has definitely declined due to the convenience of supermarkets. There are no fruit & veg shops in Glenferrie Hawthorn at the moment. Being located on the west side of the street, Maria also remembers being able to see the Glenferrie Oval from their home above the shop, watching the Hawks train and even play home games until the last VFL game at Glenferrie Oval in August 1973.


She still passionately supports the Hawks today. Although living in Deepdene now, Maria and her family still frequently visit Glenferrie Hawthorn taking their grandkids to Miss Gourmet Co. to pick lollies, seeing the same dentist and doctor she always has, and just going for a stroll along the street. The area is still very community and family oriented like it was back when Maria and family lived and worked here. Closing the shop in 2003, the fond memories of Glenferrie haven’t faded for Maria and as she shares different stories and experiences from her past and present in Glenferrie Hawthorn, she knows that she “couldn’t have picked a better location” for her business.

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