Apr 18, 2012

A Bit of Green Grocer and Shopping History

Every suburb had them and everyone stooped by at least once a week. They were the green grocers – where fruit and vegetables were stacked up in small shops and the people behind the counter generally knew those whom they were serving.

Large supermarkets in many areas spelt the end to the neighbourhood green grocer but the history of those unique shops, and their predominately Italian proprietors, is the focus of a new exhibition at the George Hanna Memorial Museum at 2 Hatfield Street, Mascot.

Sydney’s Italian Fruit Shops – The Original Green Grocer is the title of the photographic exhibition, which will remain on show until Friday June 8. The exhibition, entry to which is free honours the historic contributions made by Italian fruiterers to Sydney’s social history over the last 100 years. There’s a bit of a local flavour in the exhibition when Maria Conte, one of the family that ran the Mascot Fruit Shop, located in the landmark Mascot Corner shops, loaned a number of objects, which are now in one of the display cases.

Simultaneously with the fruit shop history is another exhibition with a shopping theme – Shop Locally. We all know shopping is an important feature of modern life and going to the shops is something we all do. Here in the City, our local shopping scene has evolved from basic corner shops to supermarkets and a modern mall.

In this exhibition you’ll get to see a number of our shops both past and present. You’ll discover everything from the long gone Quality Stores in Mascot, to the Kavanaghs Pharmacy in Banksmeadow, which opened in 1945 and still trades today.

This exhibition runs until July 6, a month after the fruit shop one. The George Hanna Memorial Museum is located within Mascot Library and is open Monday and Friday between 12 noon and 5:00pm, Wednesdays between 12 noon and 8:00pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00am and 2:00pm. It is closed Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

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