Our Story

In the case of the George family, truly,
“the Apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree”…

 

The Georges’ have been actively engaged in the fruit and vegetable industry for over 80 years and four generations. From humble beginnings as an immigrant family from Lebanon, the George Family initially settled in the northern N.S.W. town of Casino. Since then, the family name has become widely respected for customer care and for excellence in obtaining and delivering the highest quality fruit and vegetables.

The story is an inspiring one of a unique, Australian family business. It is one of sacrifice and service. It is a story that has its origins in the early enterprise and initiative of Peter “George” Jitani and his wife Waded, beginning in 1927 and which unfolded into Queensland, through the work of his children, Peter, Joyce, Simon, Joe, Keith, Mary and Bill George and which continues to be written through expansion across Australia by his grandsons, Simon and Damian and great grandsons, today. Such a legacy bestows generations of wisdom, stories, relationships and intimate knowledge at every level of the fruit and vegetable trade in Australia.

Forging a reputation on the principles of “family” – with a dedication to personal relationships and through a tenacious work ethic, perseverance and deep commitment to industry innovation, best practice and product insight, the family has become an industry leader. An exciting, growing business, the present operation of Simon George & Sons is now over 35 years old itself and positioned as one of the premier yet still proudly independent providores in Australia.

Being a family owned and operated business gives Simon George & Sons not only a history to draw on – but an important advantage in an industry becoming increasingly dominated by large corporate entities. This advantage comes in the form of trust, reliability, personal relationships, family know-how, workplace culture and more efficient communications – all of which greatly enhance the ability of Simon George & Sons to do things differently and better and to pass on these benefits to its customers.

While many things have changed in the fruit and vegetable industry since 1927 – many of the guiding principles remain the same. Despite its commitment to innovation, Simon George & Sons doesn’t lose sight of its origins and continues to honour its strong tradition of hard work, customer service, premium product and meaningful, valuable, long-term relationships with customers and key suppliers. Its longevity, growth and continued expansion into new markets proves these principles remain ever relevant and will continue to form the foundation of its operations into the future.

Timeline

 

1927 Peter George Jitani and wife Waded flee oppression and poverty in Lebanon under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and arrive in Australia. They settle in the N.S.W. town of Casino with their two children.

1927 Waded Jitani gives birth to Simon George.

1928 Peter George Jitani is given a basket of fruit to sell and begins working for Baker & Scott Fruit Shop in Casino.

1929 Peter George Jitani meets W.J. Pascoe – a fruit and vegetable agent in Brisbane who provides networks and supply assistance. Peter drops the Lebanese name “Jitani” in favour of his middle name, “George”.

1929 Peter and Waded George purchase their first house in Casino.

1933 Peter George opens his first fruit shop in Casino.

1939 Peter George opens a larger fruit shop and cafe in Casino.

1945 Peter (Jnr), Simon and Joe George form a partnership called “George Brothers” and purchase the Casino fruit shop from their father Peter.

1950 Peter George (Snr) buys back the fruit shop from his three sons and the “George Brothers” relocate to Brisbane.

1951 Remaining George children relocate to Brisbane and take up residence with the Asmar family in West End.

1953 George brothers find empty shop in West End and open “Georges Fruit & Vegetable”.

1953 – 1960 Fourteen new retail fruit stores are opened by George Brothers.

1955 George brothers start fruit wholesaling to hotels, restaurants and shipping.

1964 George brothers sell off all fruit shops bar two.

1964 Simon George (Snr) forms Simon George & Sons (“SGS”) at the Rocklea markets, with his sons, Simon and Damian.

1976 Simon George (Snr) hands over control of SGS to Simon and Damian.

1993 SGS open Cairns branch in July.

1999 SGS constructs state of the art facility at Brisbane Markets, setting new industry standards.

2002 New modern facility built in Portsmith, Cairns – modelling existing Brisbane operation.

2003 SGS commences trading in Darwin in November.

2004 Ben and Jack George join Simon George & Sons.

2005 Cool chain supply process fully implemented across all SGS operations.

2006 SGS purchase Sunshine Fresh Produce and begin operating in Townsville.

2007 SGS complete construction of an innovative warehousing facility in Darwin, modelled on Brisbane and Cairns facilities.

2010 SGS hosts gala Anniversary event at Rugby Quay in Brisbane for over 200 clients, staff and friends.

2010 Simon George & Sons purchases 2 businesses in Sydney, George’s Providores at St. Peters & Pardy Providores in the Flemington Markets.