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Giovanni Rocco Saraceno - 1930-2012

John Saraceno, Artarmon Fruit Market founder and much loved member of the Artarmon community, passed away on St Patrick’s Day, March 17, 81 years of age. John leaves behind wife Mary; children Dominic, Angela, Tony and Cathy; and brother Mick.

John came to Sydney from the village of Casignana, in Calabria in 1958 and soon made a living in Artarmon, at 86 Hampden Rd, where he set up his fruit and vegetable shop in 1962.

He turned it into a successful and over the years became an integral part of the Artarmon community together with his wife who he married in Australia, and his four children, who were all born at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

His fruit and vegetable shop was very different then to what it is now. It had a counter and no self-service. John, Mary and the children when helping wrote down prices on pieces of paper and calculated the sums in their head without the help of a cash register.

In 1983, John bought the present location of at 106, Hampden Rd, and stayed on until he retired in 1992 to his hobby farm in Wilton, in Sydney’s far south.

Mary and his children will remember him as a strong man with a passion for organic farming. His great love was his Wilton farm.

He did not agree with pesticides and battery hens and his Artarmon patrons benefited from free-range eggs and organically grown fruit and vegetables from his farm before they became trendy.

Angela told the Gazette, he would have been shocked to see the changes made to the Artarmon Fruit Market after he retired, when it changed to introduce self-service shopping and had to battle the increased competition from supermarkets after Woolworths became the “Fresh Food People”.

Angela said small shops like Artarmon Fruit Market was now a dying breed. “[They] will be extinct within 10 years,” she said. She was glad her father would not be there to see it.

by Eva Wiland, Gazette editor

Courtesy of Gazette May 2012
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John Saraceno
John Saraceno
Saraceno caption: John Saraceno ... remembered in Artarmon since 1962





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