Melbourne's #1 Food Market

Meet Paul from Ripe Organics

Meet Paul from Ripe – Melbourne’s Best Organic Grocer

Ripe the Organic Grocer is easily Melbourne’s best organic grocer and has been at Prahran Market for 15 years.


“I don’t know if it’s unusual, but if I go back, I can start and say we were selling kale 12 years ago, we were selling quinoa more than a decade ago, almond milk, a decade ago. So I think those kind of things, they’re not really unusual, but we were doing those things before they became cool, popular or needed, I suppose.

Ripe started in 2001 in August, we started with hardly anything. We had a tiny little shop front, we just got fruit bins, loaded them with fruit, had a tiny fridge with a little bit of dairy and from there we grew and it’ll be 15 years next year.

Ripe, raw and alive, that opened 6 months ago. That came about as the kombucha, sauerkraut rage happened and I thought, I needed more space. And the raw alive was with the nuts, they’re all raw food.  So the space came up, we decided to move everything and have ripe raw and alive- a living food section, and it’s been great. And that’s 6 months old

And the last one is Shop Neutral, and I’ve had that for 5 years now. It was going to be a baby section shop, actually, and then from there it totally went into a ladies cosmetics, natural organics shop, green home wares, non toxic cooking equipment, and from there it’s grown from 5 years into a great business.

Sourcing fruit and veg, firstly, your wholesale market, there’s a lot to look at. But you’re looking at skin colour and texture, shape and size, freshness, smell, dates on boxes, seasonal time. Pretty much a painstaking job, but it pays for itself.

What do I love about Prahran Market? I think after 15 years of being here, it’s the customers. I’ve had some come to my wedding, I’ve got kids now that are leaving high school and going to university, that I’ve seen when they were three. I think it’s that. And I think the other traders, seeing them for 15 years, they sort of become family. I know that sounds a bit…..but it is, you see them every day. I see them more than my parents.

I love my staff too. I love all that.”

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