Well-known Scenic Rim business The Big Pumpkin has entered a new era, with new owners taking the helm for the first time in the shop’s 34 year history.
Jimboomba couple Gemma and Corey Holden recently purchased The Big Pumpkin from founder Sebastian Bufalino, who first opened the Beaudesert store in 1984.
Who are the Holdens?
The Holdens were doing bread deliveries on the north side of Brisbane before they purchased The Big Pumpkin in late 2018 to take on a new challenge closer to home.
Gemma said she saw the Scenic Rim as a place of opportunity and growth.
“We’re in a constantly growing and changing community, and we want to make the most of that,” she said.
“I’ve been here since I was young and it’s changed a lot. Nowadays there are a lot more people coming out here to live in the new estates and have their families. We want to keep everyone interested in shopping locally with us for their fruit and vegetables.”
Gemma, who has a long-held community involvement through the local martial arts scene and runs Black Dragon Kai Boonah as a sensei (teacher), said she and Corey were pleased to be putting down business roots in the region.
Building on the Bufalino legacy
Gemma said she and Corey, who have continued to employ the two casual staff who worked for the Bufalino family, wanted to build on the Bufalino legacy.
“We want to keep similar to what it was but give it a fresh feel. The Bufalinos have been here a very long time and we want to keep that family business dynamic,” she said.
“We want to keep it local, we’re a local family and there’s a lot of opportunity here. We’re in a good location, we’ve got the carpark space we can utilise and we plan to give the building fresh paint etc.”
Since purchasing The Big Pumpkin, the Holdens have started running weekly specials campaigns, offering customised fruit baskets and engaging with customers on their newly established Facebook page.
Gemma said they were also keen to harness growing consumer demand for locally grown food.
“We want to look into more locally grown produce – having grown up here, I know there’s a strong farming community and it’s something I personally want to support,” she said.
“We had some rockmelons from Helen Clark (at Laravale) a few weeks ago and they walked out the door – we couldn’t keep up. We’re very much sensing that demand.”
Corey said it was an exciting time for the business.
“We’re interested in any way we can grow – If there’s interest there from customers, we’re open to pretty much anything,” he said.
“We’ve had a few customers ask for example about organic produce. So that’s something we might look at in the future too, if we can get a decent customer base for it.”