By Katie Johnson
Renowned for its fresh produce and welcoming attitude, family-run business Berries Corner has become a beloved staple at the Queen Victoria Market.
Since 1987, the business has been selling a large selection of high-quality fruit and vegetables and ready-to-go produce boxes to the delight of regulars.
Belinda Vitalone, who owns Berries Corner with her husband Pat, said the best part about running the business was getting to know her customers.
“The fact that we have the time to communicate with our customers and have long-term relationships with them makes us like a family,” Ms Vitalone said.
“Over time we truly get to know people and watch their children grow up and get married.”
Berries Corner was established more than 30 years ago by Pat’s parents, who started teaching him the tools of the trade when he was only three years old.
Keeping with the family tradition, Pat took over the business with Belinda when his parents retired six years ago.
“Since Pat’s parents retired six years ago we updated, replaced the manual scales with electronic ones, [put in or installed new] registers, and brought a more modernised look,” Ms Vitalone said.
As a market staple for the past few decades, the business has a host of regulars who come and visit them at the market.
Ms Vitalone said that although they were getting customers travelling from interstate, the business was missing the international customers who would usually be visiting at this time of year.
“We usually get tourists, so it was always interesting to find out where they’ve come from and talk to them about their experience,” Ms Vitalone said.
“They take fresh fruit like cherries and stone fruit back overseas with them.”
For locals who can’t visit the market themselves, Berries Corner also has an online option to pick up or deliver.
“You can do your shopping so customers can pick what they want, and all of the produce is sourced fresh from local growers at the wholesale Melbourne Market in Epping,” Ms Vitalone said.
As for her favourite produce at the stall, Ms Vitalone said one couldn’t go past their star item.
“Berries are my favourite, we have them all year round, every variety, and it’s our highlight,” Ms Vitalone said.
“That’s why it’s called Berries Corner!”
To shop online at Berries Corner, visit berriescorner.com.au or visit them on market days in Shed H •