Q: How has Simon George & Sons changed over its 80 year history?

The food service industry is a demanding one and no matter where you fall on the supply chain (from farmer to front of house) having a passionate, strong team around you is the key ingredient for success. With this in mind, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Simon George & Sons, St Peters management team. Over the last 12 months at St Peters we have cultivated a dynamic, passionate team who have the experience and the drive required to position Simon George & Sons as a market leader- who delivers both quality produce and a rewarding, positive customer experience.


Damian George: Director of Sydney Operations

Damian has a wealth of experience across all areas of the fruit and vegetable industry. Having worked in the wholesale fruit and veg business since he was 15, Damian’s extensive product knowledge and vast network of industry contacts offers our clients a unique advantage over the competition.

Stephen Quintano: Sales Manager

Stephen is a key member of the team. After 12 years working as a chef in Sydney and 30 years in the hospitality/food service industry; he not only appreciates good food, he understands the pressures of the kitchen and can offer valuable insights into menu planning and seasonal availability.

Angelique Soumaher: Sales Administration

Considered the rock of our Sales/Customer Service team, Angelique has been working in fruit and vegetable wholesale for just shy of a decade and knows everything there is to know about the administrational side of the business.


Murat Tasdemir: Operations Manager

Murat is a fairly recent addition to the Simon George & Sons team having come on board in the last few months. Murat’s ability to streamline and refine large scale operations makes him the ideal man to iron out the kinks and ensure our service is a market leader in efficiency and reliability.

Brett Marks: Floor Manager

Brett is a logistics man and it’s a good thing too, as he is responsible for making sure that a warehouse full of orders is picked, checked and delivered on time (by a fleet that can  travel over 1600km in a single day).


Clare Smethurst: Marketing & Promotions

Trained as a journalist but sold out to advertising/marketing very early on. Since then I have had the pleasure of bring surrounded by gourmet food working on or alongside premium brands such as Qantas magazine, Qantas Club Lounges, delicious and Vogue Entertaining + Travel.

A: While many things have changed in the fruit and vegetable industry since 1927 – the guiding principles remain the same and despite a strong commitment to innovation, Simon George & Sons hasn’t lost sight of the core values of hard work, customer service, premium product and meaningful, long-term relationships that made us a market leader. While we may be a large-scale operation, being family owned and operated we have the freedom to focus on the things that make us different: trust, reliability, personal relationships, know-how, culture and communication. Lets hope the next 80 years are as rewarding.


Q: How did pumpkins become associated with Halloween?

While they may have started out as cattle-fodder, nowadays the pumpkin features widely in kitchens due to their versatility, shelf-life and cost-efficiency. To meet year-round demand pumpkins are grown in every state of Australia, however nigh on three quarters of the pumpkins consumed domestically are produced in NSW or QLD. In 2010 the Food Service industry accounted for around 17% of fresh pumpkin sales, that equates to a healthy 16,743 tonnes.

The fruit (or culinary vegetable) that Australian’s refer to as ‘pumpkins’ are actually a mix of pumpkins and winter squash from three different species of the Cucurbita genus: Cucurbita Maxima (Jarrahdale, Queensland Blue, Golden Nugget), Cucurbita Moschata (Butternut Pumpkin, Jap) and  Cucurbita Pepo (Sweet Dumpling, Orange Minikin)

Selection: It is the skin of the pumpkin that protects the wonderful orange flesh from deterioration, so avoid any that are scarred, bruised or cracked. Look for a bright, plump pumpkin that is heavy for its size and boasts a thick, hard rind.





Availability: all year

Appearance: big, heavy, ribbed, deep blue-grey skin and orange flesh

Characteristics: drier that other varieties, full flavoured

Best for: scones, boiling or baking



Availability: all year

Appearance: large round variety with light blue/grey skin and a lovely deep yellow-orange flesh

Characteristics: cuts easily, sweet, firm flesh

Best for: baking – very moist therefore doesn’t lend well to boiling



Availability: all year

Appearance: small, round pumpkin with orange - red, lightly ribbed skin and bright orange flesh

Characteristics: up to 1.5kg/15cm diameter, easily cut – appearance is its main selling point though it has sweet, creamy flesh

Best for: soup or stuffed as a single serve vessel – high seed ratio if you need roasted pumpkin seeds



BUTTERNUT PUMPKIN: aka Butternut Squash


Availability: available all year but at best in April, Jul-Aug, Dec-Jan

Appearance: elongated pear shape with smooth, golden-brown skin and orange flesh

Characteristics: dense, dry flesh with a lovely smooth texture and nutty flavour – flavour improves with storage – no need to peel

Best for: everything- especially roasting. Butternut is one of the most popular varieties due to its versatility

 JAP: aka Ken Special, Kent, Delica


Availability: all year

Appearance: small mottled green/grey pumpkin (1-3kg), yellow to orange flesh

Characteristics: softer and drier than most, cuts easily and boasts a mild, sweet flavour

Best for: stuff, bake, steam, mash





Availability: all year

Appearance: small pumpkin with white and green stripes and creamy, firm flesh

Characteristics: mildly sweet, honey nut flavour

Best for: perfect for roasting and stuffing

 ORANGE MINIKIN: aka baby pumpkin


Availability: all year

Appearance: small, squat pumpkin, with ribbed, orange skin and yellow-light orange flesh

Characteristics: high seed content, ideal for hollowing and using as a single serve vessel

Best for: baking whole and stuffing with a savoury meat or rice filling – soups or roast the seeds

A: Samhain (All Hallows Eve) was believed to be the day that the souls of the departed (good and bad) were free to roam amongst us. It was Celtish tradition on this day to carve ‘Jack-o-Lanterns’ to both welcome the souls of loved ones and ward off unwelcome spirits. Traditionally Jack-o-lanterns were carved from beets, turnips or potato, however when almost ¾ million people fled to America during the Irish potato famine they brought the tradition but not the beets or gourds to carve. Therefore the pumpkin (native to central and south America) became a larger, easily accessible substitute.