Joe Patti and his family have been in the fresh produce industry since they arrived in Melbourne from Southern Italy in the late 1950s.
Joe has owned shops in different pockets of Melbourne over the years, including Acland Street (St Kilda) and Glenferrie Road (Malvern). He has owned La Manna Fresh in Brunswick since 1993.
He has seen a number of changes to the industry over the years. Trucks are now loaded by forklift, rather than by hand. Produce is weighed and priced by computers, rather than by hanging scales and the back of an envelope. Seasons and availability of produce is better as farming methods improve and growing regions expand. Customers are shopping online, rather than actually having to come into the store. Increased challenges from supermarket chains and competition. Wholesale market relocations from North Melbourne (Queen Victoria), to Footscray Road and soon to Epping.