Our Wellington

News | 14 January 2021

Behind the Stalls: Tony and Queenie Jung

In Behind the Stalls, we visit some of the colourful characters of Wellington waterfront’s Harbourside Market. In the eighth of 10 stories, we meet fresh produce growers Tony and Queenie Jung.

Tony Jung, a fresh produce grower from Levin, standing amongst his fresh vegetables in front of his truck filled with colourful crates at the Harbourside Market.

Tony and Queenie Jung are no strangers to an early start.

Since 2008, the couple have been getting up before the crack of dawn to have their truck packed and ready to go by 3 o’clock every Sunday morning.

They leave their Levin property and travel south to Wellington, where they unload their fresh fruit and vegetables as the sun rises and the city wakes up.

After being stallholders at the Harbourside Market for 12 years, the couple say it’s a great place to be.

“We enjoy it, there’s very nice people here.”

Tony’s family originally came from Guangdong Province in the south of China. He moved to New Zealand in 1989 and stayed with his uncle working as a market gardener.

 Fresh produce growers Queenie Jung on the left, and husband Tony on the right holding a cauliflower and a broccoli, smiling.

In 1991 he bought his own land. Queenie joined him around 1996, and now they farm 50 acres across four plots.

They supply produce to many of the capital’s cafes and restaurants, and are happy to help with any cooking or produce-related queries that come their way.

Half Tony’s crop is sold through Harbourside Market, so the recent Covid-19 lockdowns posed challenges. But he says there’s a silver lining.

“People are really supporting us. We’ve bounced back well. People are coming back and shopping and buying things. We really appreciate that, so thanks to all our customers!”

Quick Q&A with Tony

What’s life like in Levin?
We’ve got 20 hectares, so it’s quite busy!

What do you grow?
We grow cauliflower, broccoli – all the brassicas – pumpkin, Chinese greens, strawberries and much more.

How did your food journey begin?
When I first arrived in New Zealand, I helped on a farm growing strawberries. That’s how we got interested in horticulture, and then we decided to start our own farm growing vegetables and fruit. Now we sell our product straight to the public – cheap and fresh.

What do you like about Harbourside Market?
We meet really nice people and we get so many orders. It’s a good location – a great spot for doing business.