It started as a one table, one staff member store on the service lane of a busy Melbourne road. Now it’s hard to find a spot at Oasis Bakery. The Middle-Eastern grocery and restaurant was started over 20 years ago by Michael Makool’s parents who migrated from Lebanon in the 1970s.
Oasis has become an institution - no small feat in a food-obsessed town - and recently opened a second store in Fairfield. Michael, who now helps run his parents’ business, says a big part of the success is about customers discovering food, and his family’s obsession with sharing their love of food.
“During busy periods is when you really feel the atmosphere. You’ve got people shopping, shawarmas being cut down, the aromas of the kitchen. All the food they get is all prepared and displayed in front of them,” he says.
With two stores and a thriving wholesale business delivering salads, dips and sourdough baked every night, transport is critical to the Oasis business.
We asked Michael why the Sprinter and Vito are their vans of choice, and how Mercedes-Benz is helping Oasis achieve its dream of bringing their food closer to everyone.
Why are the Sprinter and Vito your vans of choice?
“We’ve always used Mercedes in our family - we all drive them - and they are really reliable vehicles. We started off delivering with a small car, and as we got bigger we just needed more space. And we needed a van like the Sprinter that could be configured to be half refrigerated and half ambient for our dry goods. That really helps because we deliver fresh ingredients and stock.”
What’s the best thing about the Sprinter and Vito?
“They’re just reliable and comfortable to drive. You sit upright and there’s a lot of room, it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a big van. They’re not heavy, they are good on the highways, they’ve got plenty of space now - and plenty of room for more.”
Do the Oasis vans stand out on the road?
“Absolutely! A lot of my friends send me pictures of the vans as they drive around - especially with the full wrap decal. It’s like having a billboard driving around the city.”