Yarramundi's fresh food lifestyle

Rob Carrat with his son 7 year old Jai and his mother Dot Carrat. Photo: Geoff Jones

Rob Carrat with his son 7 year old Jai and his mother Dot Carrat. Photo: Geoff Jones

Some things just run in the family — including careers — so they become ingrained in family ideology and are passed down from generation to generation, almost like genes. 

This is the case with the Carratt family, whose heritage lies firmly in fresh food.

Together, they hold over a century of experience working at supermarket chain, Woolworths.

Robert Carratt, who lives in Yarramundi, is the third of four generations of Carratts who have worked – or are still working – for Woolworths. 

‘‘My grandmother Elizabeth Butler started work in the early 1930s at a supermarket store in Balmain called Broadhead and Barchem; Woolies acquired them soon afterwards, and that’s when she became a Woolies employee. 

‘‘She worked there from 1940 to 1976 — that’s 36 years with Woolies,’’ he told the Gazette.

‘‘My mother started work in 1966 in the first Woolies to open in the Blacktown area, on the main street of Blacktown. She had six months off when she had me, and then straight back to work. 

‘‘She worked so hard, after hours; it was all about service, supervising and hiring people, including a lot of young kids. 

‘‘If you were a kid and wanted to work you came and saw Dot Carratt for a casual job in Blacktown. She retired in 1993.

‘‘I started in Marayong as a casual, then got an apprenticeship butchery role in Woolies Campsie. 

‘‘I just celebrated 30 years at Woolies last week – I’m 45 and started when I was 15. 

‘‘I was an apprentice butcher, then a meat manager ... then went on to be a NSW state co-ordinator. 

‘‘Now I’ve come into the buying office where I do the [national] category manager job (beef) based in the head office in Bella Vista.

“My twin daughters – 20 years old and both at uni – have five years’ service.

‘‘My nephew Matthew also works at Richmond Woolies, and his twin brother Paul works at Dan Murphys – a Woolworths store – in Double Bay. They have about 15 years of experience each. 

‘‘Both my sisters and both my brothers have also worked for Woolies over the years.

‘‘There is about 110 years of combined service there.

‘‘I’m sure that my  seven-year-old son  will work as a casual at a store at some stage.”

Mr Carratt’s 30-year Woolies anniversary coincides with the supermarket giant’s latest marketing campaign, which highlights its ‘‘Fresh Food People’’ theme  by telling a story about its chain.

Mr Carratt features in the campaign through a television advertisement, screening on both free-to-air and paid networks. 

It follows a group of farmers, suppliers and store staff members as they prepare the store’s fresh food for the day. 

‘‘In their commercials they like to use people from within the business. 

‘‘I’m a butcher by trade [so]  I do know meats – I helped Woolies launch the Meat Standards Australia quality endorsement with our beef,’’ Mr Carratt said.

‘‘In the commercial, I’m the butcher sharpening his knife. 

‘‘I’m also on the point-of-sale in stores.’’

The advertisements also feature on M2 and M4 billboards.

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