It is right to say that the Aeolian Immigrants had an affinity with the fruit and vegetable industry in Australia.
The agricultural knowledge that Aeolian migrants possessed obviously played a major role in the choice of occupation once in Australia. Fruit and vegetables were things that Aeolians knew much about. A small fruit and vegetable business seemed a desirable occupation which, while demanding hard work and long hours, provided a good livelihood and much-wanted independence for the newly-arrived migrants.
This trend of entering into the vegetable retailing industry set by the earliest Aeolian migrants was followed by most of the later arrivals, who were mostly sponsored by well-established Aeolians. These new-comers, who worked and trained under their ‘paesani’ or older relatives, were able to perceive the various benefits of owning one’s own fruit shop business, and so many went on to open up one of their own. Thus they propagated and eventually dominated the fruit and vegetable retailing industry.
However, during the 1980s, the various supermarket chains squeezed out many fruiterers from their suburban strip shopping centres, and today most of the formidable Aeolian fruiterers who set up their own business in the 1950s and 1960s have gone into retirement.
Some Aeolian names synonymous with Melbourne’s Fruit & Vegetable industry include: Pino Narduzzo, Tesoriero & Luca Bros., Marino Casamento, the Biviano and Scaffidi Brothers, Attilio Peluso, Tullio Scaffidi, the Tarantos, Mario Russo and the Rando family, Bob Natoli, Bob & Lyn Giuliano, Cincotta, Costa, Giuseppe Mandile and family, the De Luca and Mecca families plus F. Dimattina & Co. which still operates today after 80 years, as Dimattina Provedoring, and many more.
There is no doubt that Aeolians have contributed to the Australian community with their efforts and sense of achievement in establishing themselves in a new country where everything seemed so different from the islands where they hailed from.
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