By HARRY CLARKE
THE LEASE on a community-owned general store with proven profitability is on the market, and the new tenant will pay only half of what owners say is the going rate for that type of business.
There’s no catch. The Glenmorgan Store – complete with standard kitchen facilities, drinks fridges and a Merlo coffee machine – is up for grabs for “around 50 percent” of the market value.
The store has historically been the central hub of Glenmorgan, located 380km west of Brisbane, but has been closed since last year when its previous tenants left town.
A group of locals concerned by the loss of their convenience store and the resulting economic impact established Grow Glenmorgan, a non-profit community organisation which purchased the building with donations and grant money.
“The shop’s always been an important provider of goods and services for our community, so that the locals don’t have to travel further away,” said Rebecca Bidstrup, president of Grow Glenmorgan.
“It’s a meeting place for residents and it provides a reason for travellers to stop and spend money in the town.
“We really want to keep the business going. Without it here, people just go past and they don’t even really stop to enjoy Glenmorgan.”
The Glenmorgan Store sits on the Surat Development Road opposite the “End of the Line” park and historical facility, established in 2005 to commemorate Glenmorgan’s past as the most westerly stop on the railway line.
It’s the only highway-fronted shop for 150km and was frequented regularly by locals, truckers and caravaners before it closed.
There’s a deep fryer, chest freezers, a regular clientele and an amenities block over the road – the only thing missing is the shopkeeper.
“We think this is an opportunity for anyone,” Ms Bidstrup said.
“It might suit somebody young who’s wanting to have a crack at their first or second business. It might suit somebody who’s local to the area and is looking for something extra, somebody from away who’s looking for a tree change, or somebody who’s semi-retired.”
Local farmer Richard Peachy is also on the Grow Glenmorgan committee and said the community would warmly welcome anyone interested in the small town venutre.
“Glenmorgan is a small community away from the hustle and the bustle,” he said.
“You’re going to get to know everybody in the community, especially through the shop. All the locals are going to use it. It’s quiet, it’s low cost living.
“We feel the shop is a bit of a blank canvas. Someone can come in and make it whatever they want to make it. There are some many great little cafes on the tourist trail.”
Expressions of interest can be made by contacting Rebecca Bidstrup on 0439 718 046.