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Josh Rea

People & Companies / Profiles

Feb 10 2015

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My Property Report talks to Josh Rea, the man behind specialty retailer Gourmet Life. Josh talks to us about how the business started and how he chose his retail store's location in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. He also reveals how champagne, caviar, and truffles are (unsurprisingly) favourite treats on Valentine's Day.



Retail Property Valentine's Day Special: Gourmet Life

Hi, my name is Josh and I have a fine food business.

It started in 2004 by accident. I started selling vanilla and saffron to restaurants. I took it to the first restaurant and basically the chef offered me about five times more than what I’ve paid for the vanilla.

Then I realized that there was an opportunity to introduce wild mushrooms. It then led to truffles and then exploded into caviar.

My love and passion for caviar probably comes from having a father, who was a fishmonger. I was lucky enough to grow up in Tasmania, where Tassie has got uber-loads of great seafood. I spent my whole childhood fishing.

My business ran from home for the first six years. I was all operating out of the second bedroom and I took it to nearly a million dollars at home and I couldn’t move.

The whole front room was full of hazelnuts. I wanted to go into a warehouse but I wanted to have a showroom because naturally I knew that I had all the caviar, all the truffles, all the wild mushrooms to display to the public.

So, I literally searched for two or threes. Then I ran a corner from my house, and found 52-60 New South Head Road. From a retailer’s perspective it certainly got a drive-by traffic that I’m looking for.

Potentially about 8,000 cars a day, huge glass windows, off-street parking which I still don’t tell enough people about. Its footprint is nearly 200sqm, so it gave me the opportunity to be able to set up a really nice collection of what I do.

Champagne’s always good for Valentine’s Day, but chocolate and caviar is probably my favourite. This chocolate’s probably one of the most chosen for Valentine’s Day.

It’s made by a little family in Italy. The husband and son work the field, collecting all of the fallen hazelnuts that have fallen the night before, so they shake ‘em off the tree. Then, they bring them back and they dehydrate the hazelnuts for four hours in these big silos.

And the mother and the daughter sit there hand shelling all the hazelnuts

We bring about 200 kilos a fortnight via airfreight to Australia and ensure that they’re really fresh. And he takes about three or four days to rake, roast, hand shell, vacuum seal the packs and UPS them up to Milan and we airfreight them.

Most people, when they buy this, they take it home and just devour whole glass jar with a spoon

If you’re totally unorganized for Valentine’s Day, you should drop in, send us an email, or give us a phone call, and we can put aside some really nice chocolates, caviar

We can package together any little package, right up to a nice huge refrigerated gift hamper for you as well.

Josh Rea
(02) 9363 0775
52-60 New South Head Rd, Darling Point NSW Australia 2027
Parking at Rear of Shop



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