Sweeties Fruit & Nuts is one of the Market’s most interesting tenancies; there isn’t a nut, seed or dried fruit variety that they cannot source for you (we dare you to try!). Display cabinets are filled to the brim with roasted, salted, unsalted or raw nuts (many locally sourced), and then there are shelves upon shelves of deliciously sugary treats, chocolates, caramel corn and more. And let’s not forget Mornington Peninsula honey.
We spent five minutes chatting to Brendan, the store manager, finding out a little bit more about him.
1. How long have you been at the Market?
I’ve been at the Market for around 2 ½ years, but the store itself has been here for many, many more years than that!
2. Tell us something your customers may not know about you?
Prior to the Market, I worked in finance my whole life. When COVID-19 hit, I had a career change and drove delivery trucks for a while. I used to deliver to the Market, and that’s how I came to manage Sweeties!
I also have three children; which keep me busy. A 22-year-old daughter, a 15-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.
3. What’s your favourite food hack or tip you can share?
I love blending nuts into my cooking. The most obvious are pine-nuts in a homemade pesto; however, you can get creative and blend your favourites into your own homemade muesli, along with some juicy sultanas, seeds, coconut flakes and other goodies.
4. Do you have a favourite Market memory?
I really love Christmas and Easter at the Market; particularly Easter as we have all the chocolate eggs and goodies on display and the kids just love seeing them (and harassing mum and dad for something tasty, too!).
5. What’s the most common thing customers ask you for?
Our Gapsted Walnuts are the most common thing people ask for; customers love that they’re buying a Victorian product.
After that, I’d say probably our roasted South Australian almonds and our bags of mixed nuts are also a definite best seller, they’re just perfect on their own for snacking.
6. What do you love cooking the most?
I’m a simple cook; I love cooking anything quick and easy. Honey and soy chicken, easy butter chicken. That kind of thing.
7. When you eat out, what do you like to order?
You just can’t beat a good old-fashioned Chicken Parma. Chips and veg all the way.
8. What do you love most about being part of the Market?
I love helping customers who have strange requests; we can normally source the most unusual ingredients which is always fun.
I also love that I’m inspired by fresh produce every day and that it’s incredibly convenient for me to do the fresh grocery shop!