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Maree Profera, High St Deli

“My husband grew up in Forsyth St and lived in Willoughby until he was a teenager. He always wanted to move back and was convinced the area needed a deli. But his background was in selling paint – he had no idea about delis! I worked for Harris Farm in their deli section for many years so I’m the brains of the operation and Ross is the PR. It was providing the school lunches for St Thomas’ school that really put us on the map with the community. Ross went to that school and since they don’t have a canteen we approached the Principal who has been so supportive. Now all the kids and their families know us by name. Ham and prosciutto are our best sellers. There’s no devon sold here! The Willoughby palette is quite refined. The local community is amazing and always so willing to help. When my window broke a passing tradie stopped to fix it. I don’t think you get that elsewhere. It’s all about community and family. Owning our own business is hard work but I love it. I wouldn’t swap it for anything.”

Photo: Simon Ward