Story and photo by Kendrea Rhodes
The Kuiper family, with produce from their fresh fruit and vegetable delivery business, called Just the Freshest, which has been servicing the Hills for 10 years.
Shane and Lara Kuiper are hills born and bred. They live in Oakbank with their four children and are deeply involved with their various communities: school, church, sporting, neighbourhood, family and friends. It’s this commitment to community that has seen them make massive changes in their lives; changes which have provided them with a lifestyle and the time to appreciate it.
Ten years ago, they started a family business called ‘Just the Freshest’, delivering fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the hills. A most aptly named business, as some goods have been harvested less than 24 hours before being delivered to the customer.
The inspiration for this business came from many angles, culminating rapidly to produce one of those light bulb moments.
Shane worked at the Adelaide Produce Markets in Pooraka and on the family orchard since leaving school. He appreciates a good harvest and had noticed, years ago, how hard it was for people in the hills to obtain fresh produce, unless they grew it themselves.
Lara was a scientist working on cervical cancer research prior to having children. Ten years ago, she had one child at school, one at kindy and baby twins; Lara was busier than she’d ever been before. She looked around for anything that could be home delivered, to make life a little easier.
So Lara’s delivery idea met Shane’s produce experience and a successful family business was born in July 2002. ‘Just The Freshest’ began with seven customers and one delivery day per week. Shane went to the markets in Pooraka at 1am in the morning, picked up the customer orders, which were then packed and delivered the very next day.
Their venture received overwhelming support from the wholesale merchants and growers at the markets, who continue to support them to this day with excellent produce and prices. Shane now does a daily trek to the markets in order to maintain their high standards for freshness and quality.
Their product list has grown over the years to include dry and packaged items, many of which are sourced locally such as Laucke Bread Mixes, fresh nuts and seeds, free range eggs, local Pontt Hill olive oil, Ashton apple juice, Mount Pleasant Mettwurst and Douglasdale jams from Lenswood.
The Kuipers also run an 8 acre apple orchard in Lenswood, growing Pink Lady and Royal Gala varieties, therefore adding their own apples to the list.
They offer free delivery, three days a week to nearly 30 towns across the hills – from Eden Valley to Mount Barker, Crafers to Cromer and most places in between.
For more information or to download an order form, please visit their website www.justthefreshest.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also phone Shane or Lara on 8388 4930 or 0409 286 955.