Grocer Bernardis keen to support Forbes progress

Grocer Joseph Bernardi is excited by Forbes’ potential growth in business confidence and opportunities through Inland Rail.

Joseph Bernardi in his Forbes store

Mr Bernardi’s family has been synonymous with the town of Forbes since 1969 when his father Tony opened a drive-in fruit market across the road from the current supermarket in Lachlan Street. Prior to then he spent a decade driving an open truck with fruit and vegetables to sell to the locals.

The independent grocery store is now one of four large stores located in Forbes, which also includes its central support office, and the Central West region of NSW is at the heart of everything Bernardis do. They source produce direct from the growers and rely on local trucking businesses for transport to their local stores.

“The advantages we see with Inland Rail is not having to go to the distribution centre in Flemington in Sydney,” the Bernardis Marketplace chief executive said.

“The freight rail will ship the freshest produce faster to the local logistic hubs instead for our local trucking businesses, and it’s an opportunity for local producers to get their stock out all over larger domestic markets.

“It’s better environmentally and more cost efficient, and everyone wants to shop locally when they can and support the local market,” he said.

Mr Bernardi is also looking forward to seeing Forbes thrive during the construction phase of Inland Rail.

“If you look along the main street there are a lot of empty shopfronts in Forbes, so any growth is going to be welcomed,” Mr Bernardi said. “Most of our staff are casual, but an increased customer base would generate some more jobs and we have the capacity to handle more.

“If the Forbes construction work generates 70 new jobs, that can bring in workers and their families and that quickly turns into supporting 300 people. That is a real opportunity,” he said.

Image: Joseph Bernardi in his flagship Forbes store