Best friends at Harper’s

GREG and Jess Harper are no strangers to good food.

Under the wing of their dad Craig, one of the first traders in the Fremantle Markets, the siblings grew up working in gourmet food stores.

As the pair reached adulthood, Greg continued to work in the food industry and Jess moved into floristry, but they still harboured a dream of owning their own store.

In 2015 that dream became a reality when they opened Harper’s Food Market, a gourmet grocery in O’Connor.

• Greg and Jess Harper. Photos by Emilee Neeson

Gourmet

The business is thriving and has evolved from a fruit-and-veg store to include a florist, a gourmet delicatessen and a cafe.

“Our customers are like our friends,” Jess says.

“They’re really health conscious and really into supporting small business.

“They’re just about free range and good produce. That’s been the best part—they’re amazing.”

Diversification has been a big part of Harper’s success, especially the coffee.

“People come in for a coffee and see we sell lunches, and then they buy flowers and then they’re picking up fruit and veg,” Jess says.

Greg chimes in: “How many cafes just solely rely on coffee and cakes? But we have coffee, cakes and two and a half thousand other products.”

Although trade has been good, Greg admits that sometimes it can be tough working with a sibling.

“It’s testing,” he says. “Try working with your brother or your sister in 150sqm. In a heated environment, it’s not always rosy.

“But I’m working hard for my sister and myself, she’s working hard for herself, her children, me and our father—so that’s rewarding.”

“We’re alright,” nods Jess.

Greg says they’re happy to take things one step at a time.

“In an ideal world I guess we’d like to have multiple branches throughout Perth,” he says.

“Right now we’re just trying to build this and see what happens.

“But you never know…”

by EMILEE NEESON

Harper’s Food Market
Open 7 days
378 South St, O’Connor
9331 5983

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