Our story starts in 1996 when Emma left school and began working at Mary’s Organics, one of Australia’s first home delivery companies supplying Sydney with organic fruit & veg….founded by Mary & Tim Rutherford in 1988, the business initially sold ‘chemical free’ and ‘preservative free’ produce.
Emma quickly grew passionate about organic food and the philosophies behind it’s production. After a number of years at Mary’s, Emma left the industry for 6 months to try something else. Even though her new job was great, she missed Mary’s, the Farmers and Customers not to mention her new found love of working towards a sustainable Australia.
Cheryl & Bob Stuart encouraged their daughter to look into starting her own Organic Home Delivery, around the same time Gil and Rochelle who owned Lettuce Deliver were looking to sell their small shop and handful of home deliveries based in the Eastern Suburbs. Emma & Cheryl decided to take on the challenge back in 1999.
By 2000, Lettuce Deliver had totally outgrown the premises in Tamarama. So the girls decided that to supply their customers with the best possible produce that home delivery was the way forward. Ordering and delivery days were thought out carefully so that produce would be as fresh as possible and certainly not waiting around for sales. The shop was closed and Lettuce Deliver moved to a warehouse just outside Flemington Markets. At the same time Emma’s former boss approached Emma & Cheryl to purchase Mary’s Organics. Her first love – how could they refuse.
So the two businesses were merged and re-located to Homebush. It was decided that the name Mary’s would be retained and the business would go forward as Lettuce Deliver.
There were new challenges immediately; foremost a handful of staff, with deliveries numbering a few hundred per week, the girls knew they needed to ask Bob to join them on their Organic Adventure, his expertise being in logistics.
2001 saw the arrival of Ben Slade to the business. Who would have known that in December 2005 Emma & Ben would marry and add their Organic Babes to the family - Ruby Jane in November 2007 and Jett Robert in 2011.
Peta Stuart joined the Lettuce team in June 2004, Cheryl & Bob’s eldest daughter, bringing her expertise in food & cooking to the growing family business. Being a passionate Chef, Peta soon became renowned for her delicious and simple recipes available to Lettuce customers using seasonal produce. Peta has also added to the Lettuce family with Gabe Saxxon in March 2005 and Poppy Jean in 2010.
Kathleen Stuart has been a regular at the business since it began….being 6 years old in 1999 Kathleen like many children of business owners could pretty much run the place..…after studying to become a Vet Nurse Kathleen has now joined the Lettuce team fulltime.
Today, Lettuce Deliver is bigger than ever with an unmatchable reputation in the market place. The extended Lettuce family includes close to 20 staff members, many of whom have been with the Stuart family for years, all with a genuine passion in Organics. We have dozens of Australian Farmers and suppliers, many families of which we have been co-operatively trading with for well over a decade, not to mention the many happy, healthy families we deliver to each week across Sydney.
It’s no wonder customers of Lettuce say our produce tastes 'the best' it’s the vibration of so many happy, healthy hands that are collectively working towards a sustainable Australia. Hands that truly believe that food should come from a place of integrity and traceability and has, at its heart, a commitment to human health, animal welfare, and the environment.