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Natasha and Brendon

We met with Natasha and Brendon Garred the owners of PJ’s Fruit & Veg Lismore – which is a market style shop providing fresh produce from local farmers.

In this interview, Natasha and Brendon share their experience as business owners and advice to help others also in business.

 Tell us about your business

“Brendon’s parents bought this business around 20 years ago. From there, the business grew and they started stocking more local produce. Then 10 years later, we bought it. We’ve tried to continue their legacy by also supporting local farmers. 

We’ve also expanded the business by opening a second store at Alstonville which has a lot of the same suppliers. 

We like to do something different to the supermarkets and enjoy knowing that we are supporting another small family like ours, not just a massive corporation.”

 How do you manage work/life balance?

“It’s easier now that the kids are older, but having two shops can push you to the limit sometimes. We are definitely busy, in the sense that we don’t stop, but it’s all worth it. 

It’s important to manage your time well. There’s no point in working 12 hour days and then just going home to bed. We still make time for hobbies, sport and family.”

Tips for other business owners

“As we said in the earlier response – time management is important.

If you can – get a business coach that you can look to for advice and support. Also, other business owners can give you ideas and maybe they will show you something new. Don’t be afraid to seek advice. 

Try not to stress too much. If you’re too stressed, than maybe you should be doing something else.”

Biggest lessons learned in business

“Natasha – mine was delegation. I was trying to do everything myself, be a mum, work the front of the store, do the book work, and I became burnt out. It took until I became quite ill before I realised that I needed to start delegating jobs to others. Since I started doing this it has worked really well and my staff are capable! Letting go of that control and having faith in my staff was a big lesson. Someone once told me that if an employee can do 70% of what you can do then that’s good enough, it can’t always be perfect. 

Brendon – You’re not always going to be at the top of your business, you will have your low points. If you know you have a good business, just keep going. Your high points will make up for your low points. And remember to stress less in the low points!”

 Thanks Natasha and Brendon!

You can watch a video of their interview below.

PJ’s Fruit & Veg were recently awarded as the ETC Employer of the Month. You can read their story here.



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