Weekly Sydney Metro deliveries and partner pick-ups available for orders above $50. Read more.

About The Thorny Fruit Co

About Your Concierge Manager

Meet the Sheppards

hi, I'm Zona - your Concierge Manager and Founder of The Thorny Fruit Co.

I'm a mum of two girls, a wife to a Sydney artist geek; I am an incurable foodie, and a professional digital marketer.

My penchant for being resourceful has become a mad pursuit of smelly adventures by accident. 

I started The Thorny Fruit Co after having discovered Australian durians back in November 2018. I was part of a migrant community Facebook group who were fascinated with the fact Darwin had been growing Malaysian seedling durians since the 1990s. I eventually became friends with the durian farmer at Tropical Primary Products, who taught me a lot about his family’s HEW1 durian and other Malaysian seedlings.

I hit the ground running, and headed in to purchase TPP’s durians wholesale at Sydney Markets. At first, I thought I would buy one 20kg box for friends and the immediate community. But once the word got out, and I ended up purchasing 400kg! It wasn't long before I was also buying and selling rambutans, mangosteens, cempedak, jackfruit, rare Asian mangoes, winged beans / kacang botol, and all other exotic fruits.

With much passion and naïveté, I officially launched The Thorny Fruit Co in February 2019 as an exotic fruit concierge service.

My Cross Cultural Background

Born and bred in Malaysia until my late 20s, I migrated to Australia in 2007. It took me almost a decade before I could finally call Sydney home. Most of that attributed to being able to experience the "taste of my childhood" - food, flavours and reliving memories. 

My previous career background in the film & TV industry has instilled in me a sense of curiosity and a go-getter attitude that anything is possible. So when someone says to me, "I can't find petai in Sydney!" I take that challenge head-on... 

With my heritage being Malaysian with Thai Peranakan, Filipino with Spanish blood, I'm always hungry to learn about new cultures, the fusion... evolution and experiences through food. 

The Thorny Fruit Co in the Media 

Durian party craze popping up in Australia. Can you smell it?
ABC Rural, 18 December 2019

Summer Afternoon with James Valentine
ABC Radio, 29 December 2019

Southeast Asia celebrates durian at parties, festivals and buffets
Despite poor reputation in Western media, fruit pleases palates across region
Nikkei Asia, 15 July 2020

An online retail company providing the unique flavours of South East Asian exotic fruit Down Under
Fresh Plaza, 14 October 2020