Retail Conference: Kevin Opferkuch, Director and Co-Owner of Bunbury Farmers Market

Kevin Opferkuch, Director and Co-Owner of the highly successful Bunbury Farmers Market will explain how the market grew to be one of the top regional foodie destinations in WA at our upcoming Retail Revolution Conference on June 28 at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Bunbury Farmers Market is one of the best places to find paddock to plate produce exploding with flavour in regional Western Australia.

Over 90 per cent of the fruit and vegetables at the Farmers Market comes directly from local WA growers. That means the produce is picked up from the field or farm, brought straight to the Farmers Market and put on the shelves. It doesn’t go through distribution centres, cold storage facilities or spend days and weeks traveling to get there. It comes out of the ground or off the tree, straight to the store and into the customers basket.

The owners have hired German Ingo Maass as their executive chef who has produced a range of salads and sushi dishes which are sold in store. Ingo previously worked as a chef in the five-star Marriott hotel in Dubai and performs live cooking demonstrations in store every day.

The store has over 1500sqm of retail space, employs over 300 local staff and contains produce from more than 150 South West suppliers.

Many of their producers are small farmers that been toiling the land for generations. They are also home to some of Australia’s largest and most successful producers including Harvey Beef, Amelia Park Beef and Lamb, Blackwood Valley Beef & Lamb and many more.

“We are using local product, to make local food, to sell to local people. To me, that’s what a community is about.” Mr Opferkuch said.

Kevin has also teamed up with Paul Vanderplancke, owner of Cantina 663 to create a new dining experience offering farm to plate values and hearty dishes, now known as Ficus Restaurant located at Yagan Square.

“Freshness, approachability, seasonality, honesty and provenance are the foundations of Ficus.”

“Some people may assume that provenance simply means local. For us, provenance means we have full knowledge of where the product came from, who the farmer or grower is, when it was produced and what has been done to the product.

“There is no outside third-party ownership of the product. Everything comes directly from the producer to us, not via a wholesaler then on-sold whereby provenance of the product is lost.”

“We’re not trying to break any boundaries with the style of the dishes on offer, instead, Ficus keeps the menu approachable and let the quality of the produce and skills of the chefs to let the food speak for itself.” Mr Opferkuch said.

To register tickets to the Retail Revolution Conference please click here.

To visit Bunbury Farmers Market website please click here.

To visit Ficus Restaurant  website please click here.