Adelaide grocers build brand on last mile logistics

Isuzu NNR 45-150.

Built on a framework of excellent working relationships, Tony & Mark’s is fast becoming a household name in and around Adelaide.

The gourmet grocers employ around 500 staff having begun as a produce grower before it opened its first retail outlet in 1978.

Now with seven locations across Adelaide, it oversees a string of internal brands including restaurants, florists, delis, butchers, fish and cheese mongers, catering, events, a gourmet product range and a blossoming wholesale division dubbed Tony & Mark’s Direct.

This arm of the business supplies fresh produce and fine food to restaurants, cafes, delicatessens, foodservice and retailers.

“We’re currently going through the tender process with a large healthcare client now,” said Co-Director Paul Capobianco.

“There’s a lot of boxes to tick around your business ethics, operations, the size of your fleet, size of your business, how many people you employ,” said Capobianco.

“They want to know that you run a sustainable business and that you’re going to be around for the life of the contract.”

The son of Tony & Mark’s Co-Founder Mark Capobianco, Paul Capobianco understands the complexities of transporting perishable product.

The business employs 15 drivers, 13 of whom operate Isuzu N Series trucks which are dedicated to the food service side of the operation.

“We went exclusively with Isuzu for this task supplying the restaurants and the nursing homes from our warehouse at Newton,” Capobianco said.

“We’ve found these trucks help us with efficiency, flexibility and provide good driver comfort.”

The core of the line-up is eight medium wheelbase NNR 45-150 AMTs with refrigerated van body builds.

With its 4,500kg (GVM), the NNR 55/45-150 platform is the truck of choice for hundreds of food and general freight delivery operations across the country.

Powered by a four-cylinder 110 kW Isuzu 4JJ1-TCS engine, the NNR 55/45-150 model range is also equipped with the unique Isuzu FI026 independent suspension front axle providing maximum comfort for a day of deliveries.

Tony & Mark’s delivers to McLaren Vale every day, nearly an hour out of Adelaide. That driver starts early, loads up, is on the road by eight, before fulfilling multiple deliveries from Adelaide. The last delivery is completed at around three o’clock before he returns to the depot.

“In a typical day across the fleet, we do around 300 deliveries to customers all over the Adelaide area,” said Capobianco.

“That’s an average of between 50 to 100 kilometres a day for each truck.”

With a couple of major contracts close to landing and a busy schedule already well entrenched, keeping pace with shifting transport demands is an ever-present task for the team.

Juggling this demand formed part of their decision to ‘stick’ with Isuzu and specifically the NNR 45-150 IFS.

“The local Isuzu team we deal with at North East Isuzu are simply good people to deal with. They’ve always bent over backwards to get us what we need,” said Capobianco.

“When it comes to the superiority of the Isuzu brand and the quality of the vehicles, we couldn’t be happier. I can’t see why we would ever need to change.”

Send this to a friend