Gabe’s Fresh Food

A new miniature supermarket has re-launched at St Gabriel’s School, aimed at supporting the education of students with a range of specific needs including intellectual disability in mild to moderate range, sensory impairment, and Autism.

Named Gabe’s Fresh Food, the Woolworths mini store was originally built in May 2019 in a temporary demountable within the school whilst major building works occurred to support the school’s growth to a K-12 school.

Gabe’s Fresh Food now has a new, permanent place located on the ground floor of the new secondary school.

The mini store has been established to mimic the operations of an actual Woolworths supermarket, with baskets for fresh food, shelving for groceries, ticketing, signage and Woolworths branded uniforms the students can wear to create a fully immersive experience. Using fully operational Fujitsu registers, students learn to scan grocery items, money handling, customer and social skills and stacking shelves to name a few.

The renovation of Gabe’s Fresh Food was brought to life over the Easter school holidays through a partnership with Woolworths and Fujitsu. Woolworths team members from the nearby Baulkham Hills supermarket have been helping students stock shelves and provide register training in readiness for the opening.

Michael Farrell, Principal at St Gabriel’s School said: “We are blessed to have this learning space and it has become an integral part of the Maths, English, Food Technology and soon to be Hospitality program.

Our parent community has reported that our Mini Woolies has really helped them to be able to take their child to the shops. Both the primary and secondary students have transferred the skills learned back to their local stores and regularly engage in shopping in their local store as part of their educational programs.”

Woolworths Group Head of Technology – Enterprise Operations Sarah Corey said: “The skills students will learn in their new mini Woolworths supermarket will equip them with knowledge of how a retail store works from the perspective of both a customer and a team member and crucially the confidence to play those roles.”

St Gabriel’s School provides individualised education for over 150 students across Kindergarten to Year 10, soon to be K-12 in 2024. The school program is aimed at providing students with the same skills and life experiences as their mainstream peers so that students go on to live and work confidently and independently post school. The new mini Woolworths at Gabe’s Fresh Food is the ninth mini-supermarket of its kind.

Hill Shire Mayor Peter Gangemi attended the opening and said: “With only eight Mini Woolies in the country at the moment, we are very fortunate and appreciative to have one in The Hills.”

“I am looking forward to seeing how St Gabe’s Fresh Food
can be further integrated in the school curriculum.”

St Gabriele S Mini Store Gabe’s Fresh Food

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