By Mandy Oakham

Walking into Minerva Grocer feels like walking into a special boutique but the “jewels” in this very pretty place are found in jars or refrigerated cabinets. This upmarket grocer has just re-opened and the new look is to be found on the shelves and in those cabinets. Voice on Pako spoke with the manager Michelle Trgovac about this “new look”.

What is the new look all about?
Well we don’t look any different but we have had a major re-think about our products and we re-opened our doors mid year featuring a whole new range of products.

Why the switch?
Well we looked around and saw there was a lot of competition around us in terms of general fresh produce and we thought about offering something a little different.

So what is the biggest change customers will see?
Well we still look the same but our customers will notice the biggest difference in our product range, and particularly our new ranges in giftware and homewares, along with a new focus on fine foods and ready made meals.

Can you tell us about some of your favourite food products?
Some of the tempting new products include the chefs’ range of Simon Johnson oils, pastes and vinegars.
Another popular big seller is our Pearson Family Foods collection, especially the lasagnes are just delicious, and come in chicken, meat or vegetarian flavours. And another great idea from the ready meals range are our pizza bases from New Generation Food for only $8 that people can dress up with their own toppings and some of our special oils … very yummy! We also have a terrific new range of spices from Samis Kitchen.

And what are the stand outs in your homewares and gift products?
I love the new range from Mud Ceramics which features vases, mortar and pestles and all of their kitchenware is oven and dishwasher proof. We also have a beautiful range of message soaps from Huxter which, at $13.95 and gift wrapped, are a really inexpensive but lovely gift. There are also some great candles from me&mats which also contain special little messages for people.

How will the product switch up affect customers?
We think we have only enhanced the shopping experience by offering people a more eclectic mix of products which will have something to offer everybody, no matter the age or tastes. We can now offer something for people from kids to the older “young at hearts” customers. And I am always very willing and happy to make up gift hampers for people so if they are stuck for ideas for last minute birthdays, or just want something a little different in terms of a thank you gift, then a hamper of specially chosen products is perfect.

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