Fred Harrison speaks about challenging national conglomerates in a fiercely competitive industry, and learning that people are your most important assets.

Before taking on an after-school job with the company, CEO of Ritchies Fred Harrison was just a young teenage entrepreneur. Fred grew fruit and vegetables and sold them to his local store in Frankston for pocket money.

After studying economics and politics at Monash University, Fred realised that neither area of academia was going to provide him with the career he wanted.During his university holidays, the position of assistant manager at his local Ritchies became vacant. Fred accepted the position, which set his trajectory for a long and bright future with the independent retailer.

When Fred started in 1975, the company was 105 years young, but its roots and history have always been stores on the Mornington Peninsula. Now the largest licensed supermarket chain in Australia with 70 stores.