Since establishment in Hobart in 1979, we have developed valued relationships with a great number of local, interstate and international producers and suppliers of food. Our experience and collective knowledge from all our suppliers mean we can bring local Tasmanian businesses everything, from beautiful Tassie-grown potatoes to gourmet continental delicacies.
We supply to a wide range of Tasmanian businesses, including retail, hospitality, aged care services and educational facilities. With a full fleet of trucks and an excellent, highly trained team in our warehouse and on our roads, we are well equipped to deliver orders of all sizes, 6 days a week.
SHV Wholesalers, which was originally called Stokes and Hammond and was purchased by Peter, Vicky, Dennis and Maria Behrakis and Vicky’s parents in 1978. Soon after, Vicky’s parents left the business to retire.
Peter and Dennis used to go to the Melbourne markets about once a week, sleep in the back of a rental car and do their buying from 2am in the morning for produce that could not be grown in Tasmania. They often say that they sold their 7 day-a-week business (a milk bar in Rokeby) so that they could work only 5 days a week in Stokes and Hammond but ended up working 16-hour days, 7 days a week. Needless to say, the fresh produce industry was a big learning curve and the Melbourne markets was as cut-throat an environment as could be imagined. Stories of corruption, people being blackmailed, bodies of market stall owners found in the Yarra and black-market dealings were rife.
It soon became apparent that it would be more beneficial, economically and for obvious safety reasons, to bypass the mainland markets and buy direct from the growers, so Boomerang Transport was born as a way for Stokes and Hammond to better serve Hobart. Stokes and Hammond was also the first company to bring kiwi fruit directly from New Zealand to Tasmania and the first to bring fresh tomatoes direct to Hobart from Queensland.
Up until 7-day trading was introduced by the then Premier Jim Bacon Stokes and Hammond’s main customers were small corner stores and some restaurants and pubs. In the early 2000s Stokes and Hammond amalgamated with another business owned by the Behrakis family called Vima Food Distributors and became SHV Wholesalers. Vima Foods specialises in groceries and delicatessen items for the hospitality industry.
We now service the hospitality and retail industries and are still buying the majority of fresh produce direct from the grower, if not available locally, we are packing it at the farms into our semi-trailers and transporting it straight to our warehouse in North Hobart.
The Most Direct Supply of Fresh Produce from the Mainland
While we source a huge range of Tasmanian-grown fresh produce, SHV’s unique supply chain ensures that much of the fresh produce brought down from the mainland is taking the most direct route available.
A great example of this is our bananas, grown in far north Queensland. Harvested green, the bananas are packed into our own refrigerated trucks, padlocked and transported all the way down the east coast, across the Tasman and down to Hobart. Only when they reach our warehouse are the padlocks opened and the bananas are moved into temperature-controlled rooms where they ripen to perfection.
Processes such as this, as well as long-standing and time-tested relationships with our growers, ensures that much of the fresh produce brought over from the mainland is handled much less and often is exempt from the fumigation process in Victoria’s port.
International Groceries and Value-added Products
SHV works closely with large and small, local and international manufacturers of groceries and delicatessen products. In our catalogues you can find everything from Australian-made sauces, condiments, pasta and other pantry staples, to Tasmanian-made cheese and all the way through to German noodles and Italian coffee, all of the highest quality.