TOP SHOP: Christina and Mark Vogler from Aratula Markets.
TOP SHOP: Christina and Mark Vogler from Aratula Markets. Claudia Baxter

Aratula market a plum retailer

THE past four months have meant a lot of changes at the iconic Aratula fruit market.

Experience in business and the paddock has paid off for new owners Mark and Christina Vogler.

The addition of live music on Sundays along with practical changes like paint and fridges, and a focus on local produce, resulted in the store being named Retailer of the Month by the Brisbane Produce Market.

Mr Vogler put down the quick success to his team of 11 local staff, including his wife.

"We have been blessed with good staff. We've been very fortunate with the quality of staff we have," he said.

The store, which has been a feature at Aratula for years, is attempting to sell primarily produce grown in local districts.

"We try to bring in as much locally grown produce as possible," Mr Vogler said.

"Whether it's from Laidley or Stanthorpe or right here in the Scenic Rim, we're lucky enough to have some of the best fruit and vegetables in the country grown very close to us. Local produce works out better for us, better for our customers and better for local farmers. It's a great way to shop. We source what we can't get locally from the Brisbane Markets."

Fruit and vegetable retailers participating in the competition are mystery shopped twice throughout the year in a bid to determine businesses that excel in such areas as customer service, quality produce, product knowledge, shop appearance and merchandising.

Brisbane Markets CEO Andrew Young said the retailer of the month program was designed to reward stores that provided the best service to customers.

"By being part of the retailer program, our independent greengrocers demonstrate their commitment to excellence in produce, service and continual improvement, which means a great shopping experience for their customers," he said.

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