OUT TO PASTURE: The Narvi store which has sold organic produce grown on its owners farm from this address since 1996 shut its doors last week.
OUT TO PASTURE: The Narvi store which has sold organic produce grown on its owners farm from this address since 1996 shut its doors last week. Tim Howard

Organic produce shop shuts its doors after 20 years

A BUSINESS dedicated to selling locally grown organic produced has shut after 20 years of operation from the one address.

The owners of Narvi Organic Produce, Fiona Saward and Robin Witney, closed the doors on their shop last week after saying thank you to their loyal customers.

Ms Saward said the shop at 5/70 Prince St, but which fronted Dukes Way behind Shoppingworld, was one of the region's best kept secrets.

"We closed it wall down pretty quietely, but we were able to let all our regular customers know we were going," she said.

Ms Saward said it was the loyalty to the shop, which mostly sold produce from the couple's certified organic farm at Lawrence, which allowed it to keep trading for so long.

"We were just so into it," Ms Saward said. "When we were thinking about closing it down, we thought back to when we started and thought, 'has it really been 20 years?'

"We've been so into it, it's just consumed us all that time, you don't realise how much time has passed."

But the passage of time has taken its toll on the partners.

"It's been a long haul, but now is the right time to retire, we're in our 60s," she said.

The couple have decided against selling the business, thinking they might be able to reinvent it after they've had a break.

"We wouldn't have got enough money for it as it is," she said. "We were better off taking all the equipment home. We've still got the business registered on our farm.

"So when I say retire, maybe I mean semi-retired."

Ms Saward said the couple will continue to grow vegetables and other produce on their farm at Lawrence, which has been certified organic for the past 20 years or more.

"We may do something out here on the farm," she said. "Or do weekend trading or deliveries or whatever."

But the first thing the couple plan to do is have a break.

"I haven't been to Iluka in 20 years or been to Byron Bay since 1988, so we're keen to have a bit of holiday first," Ms Saward said.



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