Fruit and Veg City Holdings (Pty) Ltd was founded in March 1993 by two brothers, Brian and Mike Coppin. The first store was opened in Access Park (Cape Town). Their common sense approach to marketing fresh produce and maintaining a no frills business that is value driven right down to store level, has allowed the company to grow from a one-store operation to the largest seller of fruit, vegetables and other fresh produce items in South Africa, with a total of over 100 stores in 2008.
Fruit & Veg City has gone from a small store which, as the name indicates, sold only fresh fruit and vegetables. As the company has grown, so have our product ranges to cater to the customers’ demand for good quality fresh produce of all forms – dairy, bakery goods, meat, fish, dried fruit and nuts, cheese and continental delis and now even some non-perishable groceries in selected stores.
Today, around two thirds of the company consists of franchises, with an average of 10-15 new stores opening per year. In May 2008 Fruit and Veg City opened our first Food Lover’s Market in Sydney, Australia. This store joins the already successful group of outlets beyond South African borders, including 3 in Namibia and a store in Lesotho.
There are 3 store formats:
- Fresher Food Stores, which form the core of our business, providing for all your basic fresh produce needs.
- Food Lover’s Markets. This new concept in food retail takes shopping for fresh produce to a whole new level. Using international trends as inspiration these upmarket food emporiums still offer the best quality fruit and vegetables at low prices, but also offer a range of other specialist departments.
- Freshstops are free standing outlets with a focus on fresh, healthy take away meals and smoothies. Express Freshstops can also be found in many of the Fresher Food Stores or Food Lover’s Markets.
Our desire to be the best supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables and to stock a full product range 12 months of the year, along with our international expansion in 2004 and the subsequent trading relations, led to the need for an import and export division. Because of the trust that has been established with many of our farmers and suppliers, FVC International was born in 2005. In 3 years this division has grown to the biggest importer of fruit in South Africa
and a large player in the exporting field as well.
Energy: If you don’t have it stay out of this industry, according to Brian Coppin. Most retail, and especially produce, is 12 hours a day for at least 6 days a week.
Honesty: in your dealings with your farmers, suppliers, staff and customers. Transparency: Nothing is hidden from any of our franchisees or corporate stores. Their secrets to success are shared to create wealth for all.
Loyalty: We do not believe the people who were there for us when we had 1 store should now be dropped because somebody more professional is punting for the business, and unless our original suppliers of products or services are totally out priced or out of their depth, we will continue to grow with them.
2006 – SASCS Western Cape Retailer of the Year (Access Park Fresher Food Store)
2007 – SACSC Special Star Award: National Retailer of the Year and Western Cape Retailer of the Year (Willowbridge Food Lover’s Market)
2007 – Global Convenience Format of the Year Runner up: Best New Concept in Retail in the World (Food Lover’s Market)
2008 – SACSC National Retailer Supermarket Category Winner (Willowbridge Food Lover’s Market)
Corporate Social Investment
Since 2006 Fruit & Veg City has been partnering with Foodbank South Africa, a registered non-profit organization that focuses on redistributing good quality food - that would have otherwise gone wasted –to those who need it the most. They provide between 12 and 14 million meals per year, and we are proud supporters of this initiative. This year, Fruit & Veg City and Feedback have launched the Care 2 Carry campaign, in which colorful, re-useable shopping bags are sold with 10 different designs painted by some of Feedback’s beneficiaries at Luzuko Primary in Gugulethu. The designs poignantly depict their dreams and aspirations, and R2 from every bag sold in Fruit & Veg City stores will go towards Feedback, so get yours today!