A FEEDING frenzy of food shoppers was still descending on the new Spud Shed in Jandakot after its grand opening earlier this month.
The 20-trolley queues of customers waiting patiently, hundreds scanning the aisles and even orderly lines at the bulk-beef section seemed aggression-free.
With no trace of irony, a staff member told the Gazette it was “a quiet day”.
Galati Group general manager Gerard Kermode said the Jandakot store was so popular, they opened with 10 tills and were already in the process of installing four more.
“We didn’t anticipate this level of response, we knew it would work but we didn’t expect this,” Mr Kermode said.
“At 6.45am on Sunday, there were 200 people lined up outside.
“On Saturday and Sunday, we got to the point where we were almost turning people away.”
Galati Group, which employs 450 people, launched its Baldivis store 13 years ago to complement a vegetable farming business, after realising Class Two fresh produce was not accepted for sale by the major food chains.
“Class Two produce ended up at the dump or as cattle feed,” Mr Kermode said.
The business began as a way to sell less-than-perfect produce, and now has four stores, plus egg production and cattle farming initiatives.
“Our prices are considerably cheaper, about 30 to 40 per cent below the major stores,” Mr Kermode said.
“It’s an opportunity for families, seniors and the community to buy real value, as we’re cutting out the middle man on a lot of lines.”
Mr Kermode said the role the Baldivis store played in the budgets of Rockingham and Kwinana locals was brought to the fore in September 2009, when it burned down.
“The re-build was a huge job to get going,” he said.
The Jandakot store, which is built on federal land, is able to operate from 7am to 9pm daily, bypassing State extended trading restrictions.