Food News

The subscription service that delivers boxes of avocados to your doorstep, every month

The first rule of The Avo Club is: don’t squeeze your avocados.

By Yvonne C Lam
What's the limit to your love for avocados? There's no contesting the fruit's popularity across the country and its critical role as one-half of the national dish that is smashed avocado on toast.
Demand for the fruit, combined with lockdown restrictions, have created the perfect conditions for avocado farmer Katrina Myers to launch The Avo Club, an avocado subscription service that delivers the fruit directly to homes in Melbourne and Sydney. Enthusiasts can opt to receive a 12-pack every month; avocado adulators might choose the 10-kilogram box, about 35 to 40 of the prized alligator pears. "People also go in with neighbours, buying groups, extended families," says Myers. "You can stagger out the ripening process to last the whole month."
Myers' avocado farm lies just outside Barham in New South Wales' Riverina region, just a 15 minutes' drive to the Victoria border. Pre-COVID, the farm's online shop stocked Hass avocados, the most widely grown variety in Australia, as well as the lesser-known Reed variety, a rounder fruit with a creamy texture.
However, the farm's harvest means their avocados are only available for four months of the year. "We've always had an idea to use other people's avocados to supply all-year round," says Myers, who co-founded the business with her husband Tim and cousin Stephanie Anthony. "We were going to launch in August, then COVID happened, and we thought, it's probably a good idea to do it now!"
From left: The Avo Club's Stephanie Anthony (operations and marketing, co-founder), Katrina Myers (co-founder) and Annabel Warne (graphic design). Photo: Hillary Walker
For year-round avocados, Myers looks to different varieties and growing seasons around Australia. Currently she's sourcing Hass and Gem avocados from Queensland; in August to September she'll supply the Bacon (a nutty-flavoured smooth-skinned Mexian variety) and Fuerte (long, slender-necked fruit with dark green skin) avocados from her orchard. In November, it's Hass avocados from Western Australia; January to February her Reed harvest will be available, before returning to Queensland in March to April for Sir Prize avocados (a hybrid black-skinned variety). "It's such a variable climate in Australia, and not many people know they come from different parts of the country," she says. "It's pretty cool we can source avocados throughout the year."
Avocados are evergreen, meaning they only ripen after harvest. Unusually, Myers dispatches the fruit while they're firm and unripe, which means they can withstand the knocks and bumps of travel. "There are fantastic avocados being grown around Australia, but by the time they reach people they're black or stringy because of all that handling in between," she says.
Customers can ripen the fruit according to their needs – they should be placed in the fridge to slow down the ripening process, or in a fruit bowl at room temperature to speed it up.
Whatever you do, don't squeeze the fruit to test its ripeness. Just gently press near the stem – if the fruit yields under the pressure, it's good to go. "Everyone is craving the perfect avo, and it feels good to give them a big squeeze to test you're getting the right one," says Myers. "I'm guilty of doing it myself, but you should avoid grabbing or squeezing your avocado."
theavoclub.com.au
Note: At this time, The Avo Club only delivers to Melbourne and Sydney.
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