WOULD you swap the bright lights of London to sell fruit and vegetables in the small town of St George?
That’s exactly what former investment banking employee Bec Lomman did five years ago, and she has no regrets.
Ms Lomman had lived in London for 10 years before meeting her husband and St George local, Rob, in the city of love.
The pair eventually moved back to Sydney but were visiting Rob’s parents in St George often enough that they began dreading the Sunday trip back to the city so they moved five years ago.
While Bec spent time doing government contracts and working at the library, it wasn’t until a former grocery shop in town was on the market that she found her real calling.
The pair purchased the shop and in July 2016, Seed & Sprout was officially opened providing seasonal Australian produce and local horticulture.
“Rob’s family is in horticulture out here and I’d felt for a long time that there wasn’t really any reason why we shouldn't be able to have access to really good quality fresh health produce,” Ms Lomman said.
“I think people within our community more broadly are just becoming more health conscious and there were a lot of things that perhaps I’d been able to access in the city that perhaps I couldn’t access here.”
Not only is business booming, with Seed & Sprout now employing four people, local horticulture offerings in the area are also growing.
Seed & Sprout now offer Black Knight blueberries and grapes, Moonrocks onions, broccoli and garlic, Ballin’s Certified Organic Tomatoes and Nindigully free range eggs.
Smaller operators looking to go commercial in the future also provide figs, pomegranates and Jujubes (Chinese date) while the St George Primary School grow fresh produce which is sold to the store.
“As much as possible we want to stock local,” Ms Lomman said.
“We have a real focus on seasonal Australian, the closer we can get it to home the better. There is a huge desire for it in our customer base.”
In the future, Ms Lomman hopes to be able to offer online and delivery services and said she didn’t miss her Europe lifestyle too much.
“The first few months it was a real roller coaster and I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said.
“In some ways it’s quite similar to the old finance world; you are dealing in real markets where prices are changing all the time, it’s fast moving, you are always busy and you get to deal with great people in the community everyday.”