Diary of a Grocer

The following are excerpts from my diary….

December 2020
Lockdown’s ended – so glad this is over.

Had Fair Food staff Christmas party in the old café pavilion at CERES Brunswick East.  Music, dancing, hugs – relief palpable.

January 2021
Some of the CERES teachers and admin staff  who came to us last March after being stood-down are going back to their old jobs.  Some are staying.

Chloe and the Ed Team are getting ready to welcome school groups back to CERES.

Good to be back in the warehouse.

February 2021: Lockdown #3 – 5 days
Orders flooding in – working from home 

Am reminded of the first lockdown – 12 weeks of toilet paper supply sold in two days.  Fair Food buyers, Hema and Kitty-Ann, say we are prepared.

All school visits to CERES postponed.

March 2021
Mo Nabaie has had his operations and teeth implants.  Fair Food customers and crew crowdfunded $15,000 to help pay (that’s Mo taking the selfie above).

Produce buyer, Joshua has been recruiting young market gardeners – Days Walk Farm, Remi’s Patch, Bellfield City Farmers, The Mushroomery and Cherry Road Flower Farm

Looking for more flower farmers.

April 2021
Website coder, David Cook, discovered a Fair Food driver has recently delivered our 500,000th order since we opened in 2010

Before we can celebrate we are back in lockdown

Buying flowers from Dot and Nev – have fallen in love with Dot.

May 2021: Lockdown #4 – 14 days
More orders.

Back-up packing Team B reformed and sent to work from home.

Pay-it-forward donations to Open Table’s Free Food market – $20,000.

Toilet paper stocks: holding.

June 2021
Team B allowed back at Fair Food.

Mo has cut a gateway in the warehouse fence down to the Darebin Creek.

Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Ringo Terrick visited – smokes us and yarns to us down by the creek.

July 2021: Lockdown #5 – 12 days
More orders.  Team B sent home.

Packing crew member notified they’re a close contact. 

Team B, including CEO and CFO, standing by to pack orders.

Nearly three days until negative result – no one has slept very much.

August 2021: Lockdown #5 – 82 days
Still more orders. 

The old CERES Site office at Brunswick East burned down – cops holding a man for breaking and entering.

Numerous offers to help rebuild coming in.

To raise spirits people are drawing pictures, jokes and messages on their Fair Food boxes.

September 2021
Mechanical genius Al Barden’s UV box sterilising machine continues to amaze all – over 60,000 cardboard boxes reused this past year.

Open Table’s pay-it-forward donations $30,000

Toilet paper stocks: good

October 2021
Fair Food has hired six housebound artists to video themselves performing at home.

It’s called Live From the Kitchen Floor.  Results – heartfelt but patchy.

We all feel the same.

November 2021
Lockdown 6 has ended

Kids are going back to school.  Schools are coming back to CERES! 

Alcohol licence approved – not a moment too soon.

December 2021
Fair Food staff Christmas party at the old café pavilion.

Team A and Team B see each other for the first time in five months – music, dancing, hugs – relief palpable.

Open Table pay-it-forward donations $46,000.

It’s been another enormous year we’ve gotten through together.

The Fair Food groceries you eat have paid farmers & makers fairly, employed people from all walks of life, helped keep CERES open and cared for our Earth.

Thank you for all your messages, your kindness, your support for CERES and our wider community.

Have a safe break and see you in 2022.


We make our last delivery for 2021 this coming Friday 24th and we’ll be back delivering again on Tuesday, January 4th.

spotty Fair Food box


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