Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo
To his customers, Tony Galati is the potato prince with a reputation as a rebel. "I get a lot of people ring me up and say if it wasnt for us they couldn't afford to eat properly" Tony is a farmer who's taking on the supermarkets, by selling direct.
At the opening of his latest store the lines are as long as the aisles. Hundreds of shoppers keen to bag opening specials .some of the cheapest prices in the country. Potatoes, carrots, and onions all twenty nine cents a kilo broccoli and lettuce, fifty cents a pop. Tony says "the lettuce were selling here, has only been picked an hour ago" by cutting out the middleman he's able to undercut the big boys. "It's farm direct straight from our farms straight here"
While the cost of grocery's soar in supermarkets Tony wants to make fresh food more affordable for families especially struggling pensioners. The last time he had queues like this was when he declared war on WA's potato board. Back then, he bypassed the State's potato regulator to sell his spuds illegally for thirty cents a kilo. A run in with the potato police, which almost cost him his growers licence.
This time he says his spuds, are above board, "they're not illegal this time? They're not illegal they've been through the system" and it's not just tatters going cheap. Tony says "we produce our own eggs, graze our own beef"
Whole scotch fillet on special for nine ninety nine a kilo the coles we surveyed sold the same cut for twenty six dollars a kilo at one Woolworths, thirty four dollars a kilo.
We also compared regular prices of vegetables at the Spud Shed to a random Coles and Woolies.
At the spud shed a cauli cost ninety nine cents. At Coles it was twice the price, a dollar ninety eight. At Woolies, two dollars sixty six.
Broccoli at the spud shed cost fifty cents. at Coles a dollar thirty four, at Woolworths a dollar fifteen
loose carrots at the spud shed cost forty nine cents a kilo, at Coles ninety nine cents, at woolworths a dollar eighty four
lettuce cost fifty cents at the spud shed, at coles ninety eight cents, at woolworths a dollar ninety eight
the regular spud price at the shed is ninety nine cents a kilo at Coles two dollars ninety six, at woolworths a dollars eighty seven and while he wages war on prices ... he's also putting trading hours to the test, "we wont close we'll be opening 24 hours a day"
From outside you can see the control tower of Jandakot airport. that of course is on Federal Government land. and wouldn't you know it, Tony's spud shed is also on federal land. So what you say? Well, that means he's not subject to the State's retail trading hour laws.
It's bound to get a few backs up but then, Tony Galati's never shied away from a fight. Tony says "if there are stupid laws the only way to change em is to fight em"
As for his customers they're behind him all the way the winners in a push to bring down prices.
Spud Shed locations
Lot 14 Kerosene La
Baldivis, WA 6171
Tel: 08 9524 1599
566 Pinjarra Rd, BARRAGUP, WA, 6209
Phone: (08) 9534 9280
37 Prindiville Dr
Wangara WA 6065
(08) 9409 1026