Where can you get lemons and limes for juice or herbs for garnishes at the last minute? If you’ve ever worked behind a bar in hospitality this has happened to you:
- Deliveries are organised from your fruit and veg supplier the night before.
- They’re delivered in the morning delivery run.
- The kitchen hand just signs off and doesn’t bother really checking them.
- The chef uses your herbs for that night’s special and really needs peel and juice from the best looking citrus.
- You’ve got manky, shitty lemons or brown limes or wilted crappy mint waiting for your mise en place shift starting about 4pm an hour before open if you’re lucky.
Or the delivery driver just leaves it on the back step so you can’t send back shitty produce until the next day’s pick up.
Or the kitchen has some old-school dickhead of a chef who takes the best bits for back of house, cares for his portion of the produce perfectly and thinks front of house is the easy gig and should “learn to work hard” so he leaves all your stuff, now hot and dead wrapped in the sort of rubber bands they castrate lambs with for you to sort out.
Or maybe that last minute order left on the F&V suppliers voicemail was a couple of minutes past the cut off. Or you were too tired and sort of forgot and the venue manager is gonna be pissed off real soon.
Either way you’re short some produce, the bar’s about to open and with Summer well on the way those much hated mojitos need their pretty looking lime and mint.
How the hell can you get the furniture set, the floors cleaned and beer taps sorted if you have to run down to Coles or Woolies for an emergency bag of citrus and some herbs that you know will be dead within two hours?
Who does last minute same-day deliveries?
This has happened to me sooooo many times. Whether owning my own bar, managing restaurants or even having to sprint a few kilometres from a function centre to the nearest place that sells anything approximating fresh produce. Maybe I’m just disorganised but if I am so is every venue, kitchen and bar I have every worked in or performed a tasting or event in. I’m also yet to find a produce supplier who gets it 100% right on every delivery (heck more than 50% would be nice right?).
It’s a fact of hospitality life regardless of whose fault it is but I have been using a secret weapon for a little while now. Harris Farm Markets are one of the few retailers who carry the sort of fresh produce that tickles the fancy of your cocktail bartender. I’m talking
- Finger limes
- All the herbs in good condition
- Quality citrus
- Edible flowers
- Hydrocolloids (thickening agents such as agar, xanthan and kappa iota)
- Gucci seasonal fruit you can’t get in most places but look baller on your garnish board or in a menu
- Unhomogenised milk or full jersey cream
You can also find some of the best beef, bar snacks and standard style fresh produce of any supermarket.
Best of all if you order before 5pm you can get same day delivery in most metro areas in Australia. That’s right… it’s not some Coles van showing up maybe 6 am the next day. It’s the same day and it’s quality stuff. Even better they have a semi-wholesale option for ordering ONLINE. You can get a whole box of lemons at a fixed price so you know your costs and you know they’ll be good for juice, peel and garnish.
Give them a shot and see what you can get from your local Harris Farm Markets via the online store, they’ll never replace your wholesale producer but I do not know a better emergency back-up.