Robbie D Fruit and Veg set to close
ROBBIE Dunnett was just 11 years old when he first swung a fruit basket on his arm and headed down the streets of Mount Morgan.
The fruit and veggie expert learnt the tricks of the trade from his parents who started selling fruit over half a century ago.
Now at 69 years old and with 40 years of business experience under his belt, Robbie will be re-stocking the shelves with apples and oranges one last time.
Robbie D Fruit and Veg is closing up shop at the end of the month and said he was sad to see this time in his life come to a close.
Seven day trading and supermarket chains have taken their toll on the Dean St business, which has had a strong history in Rockhampton.
"The business has changed to the extent that there used to be so many growers in this district and now you can count them on one hand," Robbie said.
"It's just not viable for them to grow anymore. I can see in the future if (the government) doesn't look after the man on the land, we'll all be importing everything from overseas, which doesn't worry the big chains."
Selling fresh produce has always been in Robbie's family. His parents started out with a fruit truck in the 1940s and his brother owned a fruit shop.
In 1975 Robbie and his wife decided to start their own shop in Berserker St.
"From there we built it right up… but in 1995 I got out the game for a couple of years but then came back (to the north side) and have been here 16 years," Robbie said.
"Business was going really well until seven day trading hit everybody. The writing is on the wall for a lot of business in Rocky and right across Queensland.
"It's not good for us retailers."
Robbie said he fought for five years since seven day trading was introduced, but is now ready for life to slow down and enjoy retirement.
Robbie said he'll miss his regular customers who he has gotten to know over the years, some over the decades. And sadly, 10 staff will no longer be employed.
Robbie wanted to thank all his customers for their support over the years and his staff for sticking with him.
Robbie D Fruit and Veg will close its doors on April 23.