Like chickens legs

“The only time I ever wear trousers is if I go to a wedding or a funeral”

At 7am on a cold and blustery July, Warren sits alone in the carpark. It’s nice that time of day — the sky is purple and it’s quiet as hell — we know just how nice it is because we’re several kilometers away, baking next to a warm oven. Meanwhile Warren, perched on one of his trusty blue chilly bins, is out in the freezing cold to catch the early punters.

Marianne, the other half of 'Lovey’s free Range Eggs' will join a bit later at a far more sensible time — closer to the markets official opening time of 8:30am.

Even though he’s tough with the cold, like all all hardy blokes he has a soft spot, and for Warren’s it’s his “chooks”. Talk about the flock of wee lasses and his face lights up.

But their passion is not just limited to the birds. They are pretty fond of their customers too. They keep the price low even though it would be easy to raise it. They want good eggs to be available to everyone. Apart from being a total steal for free range eggs, at just $5 a dozen, his eggs are better quality because his chickens have a sweet as life, much chirpier than the supermarket brood.

“Most free range eggs have a large shed and a small outside run. It’s warm inside so they don’t range free, they sit inside like barn hens. We shoo ours out to the big paddock when we collect the eggs. That’s why the yolks are so green, it’s ‘cause they go outside and eat the grass.”

As with all successful ventures, there is the hand of a woman involved. Marianne is Warren’s wife, but more importantly she does perhaps 70% of the day-to-day work for the egg venture. Every day she feeds the ladies breakfast, lunch and dinner then painstakingly cleans each egg with a wet cloth so they look perfect as the hit the carton.

We asked Marianne to take some photos for us. Apparently it was a laugh, “the girls are too friendly!” They were flocking to her, pecking at the phone, jumping on her shoulders, crawling between her feet. Like little kids they are super curious and love the attention. There’s also the fact that normally when she visits them she’s bringing food.

As much as Marianne tries to get him to cooperate and ‘do it for Lovey’s’, Warren spends most of the morning avoiding our photo attempts. He does a lot of other things for Lovey’s though — their BBQ offers up bacon & egg sandwiches and sausages while they also sell on behalf of a duck egg seller.

I don’t know why you’d have them. I’ve never had one… Some people like ’em. Why would you when you can have a chicken egg?

Despite his aggressive sales pitch, all the duck eggs are always gone within the first hour.

Catch Warren and Marianne at the SPCA Flea Market, Saturdays between 8.30am — 12pm. But rest assured Warren will be there EARLY!

Written by Rosie and Jeff