Based in Mountain Creek on the Sunshine Coast, Marc and Jo Barmentloo have been the “hands-on” owners of Fruit Factory since 2013. Why “hands-on”? Because Marc and Jo source all their produce fresh from the Brisbane Produce Market, focusing on healthy and organic choices, and especially locally-grown produce – and they hand-pick (and taste-test) everything from the growers in the market themselves before choosing what to buy to stock their store! That means customers can expect the best, most delicious and nutritious fresh and seasonal picks whenever they visit Fruit Factory – and with so many incredible local producers in the region, there’s always something new to try year-round. Marc and Jo’s spring fruit favourites are berries, mangoes, nectarines, navel oranges, papaw, peaches, pineapple and melons, while for spring vegetables, they love asparagus, beetroot, shallots, silverbeet and tomatoes. In the summer, peaches, plums and mangoes are always plentiful, while in the autumn, local dragonfruit, custard apples, William pears, Thompson seedless grapes and red delicious apples fly off the shelves. As for vegetables? As Marc says, most veggies are year-round in this part of the world! Still, the winter brings mandarins, pears, Sunshine Coast strawberries, fennel, local mushrooms, spinach and rocket – plenty to experiment with for your next salad or fruit bowl! Marc and Jo encourage shoppers to try new fruits and vegetables and new ways of preparing them – why not blend, slice, or dice, or be adventurous and try at least one new recipe each week? And don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with your produce to check the quality and freshness before you buy; in fact, the Barmentloos at Fruit Factory would be happy to show you how!