Swanbourne Market IGA X-press wins small format store innovation award at the annual IGA Awards of Excellence

Swanbourne Market IGA X-press owner Steve Carre. Picture: Jon Bassett
Swanbourne Market IGA X-press owner Steve Carre. Picture: Jon Bassett

FRESH produce is one of the keys to Swanbourne Market IGA X-press winning the small format store innovation award at the annual IGA Awards of Excellence in Queensland last month.

“Look at these blueberries I get from a farm in Yanchep. By the time they get here I know they would have been picked just days ago, and it’s a hallmark of our fruit and vegetable section that we get it directly from the farmer,” owner Steve Carre said.

The award recognised customer service, the store’s pride in its community, its departments’ excellence and the values it placed on its brands.

Mr Caree was recognised for his team of 36 staff and their innovations, including visiting farmers, hand-picking fruit, bread and pastries baked daily and fresh flowers sold at the front door.

This year marks the store’s 10th anniversary on the shopping strip Mr Carre calls “the best mix in Perth”, with its supermarket, butcher, cafes, variety stores, post office-newsagent and bottle shop.

Swanbourne IGA’s influence on shopping across Perth is widening because Mr Carre’s four-year-old wholesale arm now supplies farm-to-table produce to 100 other independent shops.

He casts a wide net to support small businesses producing other foods, such as dried apricots and their gourmet derivatives from a South Australia family which previously faced turning their land into real estate to survive, or a New Zealand-made peanut butter using Australian-grown nuts.

While his store’s offering can be exotic, its focus remains on its shoppers, whether they be faithful regulars or new.

“It’s still about good, old fashioned service, like taking boxes to the car, delivering at home for the elderly and finding the best produce,” Mr Carre said.