Gerringong Fruit Barn

Design Feature
Type of Project
Landowner Strategy
Location
Rural
State
New South Wales

Gerringong is a regional town located 45 kilometres south of Wollongong in New South Wales. The town’s distance to the city, and the provision of only one supermarket creates challenges for residents in accessing fresh food. To address this issue, the Gerringong Fruit Barn was established in 2005 to service the local community. The Fruit Barn is a greengrocer, providing the community with access to quality, certified fruit and vegetables sourced from the Sydney Market Authority. The Gerringong Fruit Barn is the only greengrocer in the Kiama Municipality.

Bringing fresh food to the community

The Fruit Barn conveniently operates in a residential area as a home business, which supports community members to access the shop by walking or cycling. As well as providing access to healthy food, the Fruit Barn is a social place. It is comfortable, community minded and encourages people to connect with others, in person and through an active online community. 

The Gerringong Fruit Barn was established out of necessity, after a family member of a town resident was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Frustrated with the small range, poor quality and high price of produce available in the local area, the resident resolved to improve healthy food access to benefit not only themselves, but the wider community.

Leafy greens for sale at the Fruit Barn.
Leafy greens for sale at the Fruit Barn.

The Gerringong Fruit Barn was originally based in a light industrial area of the town. Due to changes in zone requirements, it was no longer possible to operate in this area. In 2005, Council subsequently offered the option of the Fruit Barn running as a home business in a low density residential zone (R2). This allowed the Fruit Barn to operate out of a purpose-built garage weekdays from 10am – 6pm. 

The dwelling does not have any commercial element outside of business hours, maintaining a residential feel.
The dwelling does not have any commercial element outside of business hours, maintaining a residential feel.

Outside of these hours, the dwelling must not appear to have any commercial element. This requires the use of magnetic signs and a removable flag to advertise while the shop is open, and the house to appear as any other outside of business hours, preserving the existing low density residential character required by Council. 

Twice a week, fresh, seasonal produce is sourced from Sydney markets to be sold at the Fruit Barn. The Fruit Barn encourages healthy food choices by providing a local greengrocer, supporting those unable to make the 4-hour return trip to Sydney. Healthy recipes are also shared on the shop Facebook page and can be printed in the shop if customers don’t have access to social media.

Project Team

  • McMahon family
  • Kiama Municipal Council

Project Cost

  • $30,000

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