Meet Georgina, South Melbourne’s go-to person for all things root vegetable related. Known to her locals as ‘The Potato Lady”, Georgina started Georgie’s Harvest in 2011 to carry on the legacy of the potato shop that operated in the South Melbourne Market for over 28 years. Georgie’s Harvest celebrates all things good from the ground, and is known for stocking specialist potato and root vegetables that are sourced from local Victorian farmers and producers.
Georgie’s Harvest got off to a unique start, as Georgina left her job selling litigation support in corporate Australia to buy a potato shop, which gave her the opportunity to spend more time with her young family.
With the onset of the pandemic, Georgina had to change the store in many ways. They altered the store layout for the first time in 27 years to make sure that there was enough space for all their customers to shop safely, and they implemented a contactless delivery system created by South Melbourne Market to allow customers to safely access their produce.
When lockdowns in Melbourne tightened further, Georgina could only trade with people in her 5-kilometer radius, but she says this allowed them to build a stronger connection to their local community which is so important during this time. They also created an online portal for their produce which allowed their customers continued access to local, Australian produce even if the store had to close doors.
As a single mother with little digital experience, Georgina says it was tough packing orders and creating an online system while keeping tabs on her young ones. However, she loves that it has created a new line of communication with their customers, and how social media has expanded their customer base outside of their local community.
Georgina can’t thank her customers enough for their support through this period. They were flexible and understanding when implementing changes and continued to come in and abide by the restrictions throughout lockdowns. Georgina says her customers were always overjoyed they were still open and kept thanking them for being there throughout. She loves that the pandemic has strengthened community relationships despite being such a tough period for everyone around the country.