I moved to Sydney in 2002. Parting gifts from Adelaide included a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Shopping Guide and some guide to the bars of Sydney. My 2002 copy of The Good Food Shopping Guide is dog eared and still my go to guide for finding the best providores in Sydney. Sure there’s some new kids in the food scene every year, but if it was good in 2002 and still around, then it’s a gem.
As I was taking an academic position at Sydney University, I found an apartment in Glebe to call home. It was a three flight walk up with a quaint balcony overlooking St Johns Road. A short ten minute walk to my office, a five minute walk to the heart of the Glebe village near Glebe Point Road and St Johns Road placed me near everything.
I stumbled across F.J. Galluzzo and Sons fruit shop purely by convenience. I was immediately enamored by Frank Galluzzo tending the till while Joe and Damien scurried about making sure there was plenty of stock. It was clear to me that this was a family business that did one thing and they did it extraordinarily well.
I would wander up there two to three times a week to keep myself stocked with the freshest fruit and veg and have a bit of a chat with Frank and Melina. It was part of the rhythm of my new life. Besides, at Christmas it gave me a chance to practice my very rusty Italian with Melina.
One day while leafing through my Good Food Guide I discovered that my local fruit shop was a Sydney institution. Founded in the 1930’s by Frank’s father, they’ve been trading at the same location ever since. Since the passing of Melina and Frank the tradition of the freshest locally sourced fruit and veg is carried on by Joe and Damien. If you are interested in knowing more about Galluzzo’s here’s a five minute feature from SBS.
Even though I have long since moved away from Glebe, I still shop at Galluzzo’s every week. It’s only 15 minutes from my house to Glebe, but it involves crossing the Harbour Bridge. Anyone living in Sydney will tell you that crossing the bridge for something is a very big deal 😉 I do this because I can’t find better tasting fruit and veg at their ridiculously reasonable prices.
Even Stuart and the boys can tell the difference between an apple from Galluzzo’s and somewhere else.
But more importantly, I shop there for peace of mind. Joe still looks after me every week. I am always full of questions for him about his product. He indulges me with tales of the growers as I chase him around the shop filling my basket. Sometimes he’ll even duck out the back to get me some stock he’s waiting to put out. It’s a small shop so two people walking side by side fills the “aisle”.
My relationship with Joe is a cornerstone for our Migraine-friendly house. Nasties from the environment can be concentrated in the foods we eat. The body’s primary mechanism for detoxifying nasties kick starts the nitric oxide pathway awakening the migraine beast. Joe knows and understands this about us, always steering me towards foods he can assure me are safe.
Having a good working relationship with my green grocer is just as important as the one with our health care professionals. As urban dwellers we don’t have the luxury of growing our food the way we want to. Instead we rely on like minded growers and providores to ensure our food security. Taking the time to develop these relationships is the key to getting reliable access to the best produce. Besides, it’s fun to get to know people.
At the end of our forage through his shop Joe usually takes care of me at the till. There’s the inevitable shout for “car service” which always results in a faux argument with Joe that I am capable of carrying my horde to the car. He usually relinquishes and carries it for me so I can continue to get caught up on the gossip of his life.
The other day I was parked on Campbell Street near St Johns Road. Joe pointed out Melina Lane, which is named for his mother. I reminisced about how she would let me stumble with by abysmal Italian with her every time I came to the shop. We both just stood there looking at the street sign for a bit remembering her influence. Galluzzo and Sons is more than a fruit shop, it’s a family that embraces us all.
Enjoy my friends.
F.J. Galluzzo and Sons can be found at 189 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. They are open Monday through Saturday 6am to 7pm. They provide “car service” and deliver to the local Glebe area.