Supermarket re-opening has town buzzing

BACK IN BUSINESS: New owners Sue and David Thorne are excited to have reopened the FoodStore at Miriam Vale.
BACK IN BUSINESS: New owners Sue and David Thorne are excited to have reopened the FoodStore at Miriam Vale. Mike Richards

WITH the help of her family, Sue Thorne is doing what she always wanted and, in turn, is making Miriam Vale's community happy with the reopening of its mini super market.

It's been open for almost four months now and has increased turnover by 25% in that time.

"That's just people coming in and realising we're not just a corner store, we really are a mini supermarket," she said.

"There's lots of people in town doing their full shops here."

The store is part of Foodworks, trading under FoodStore, which gives Mrs Thorne a wonderful challenge to fulfil customer requests.

"We use an industry wholesalers to purchase 98% of our products, and get anywhere from two to three deliveries a week," she said.

"We're trying to work with the town to keep our prices reasonable, at the end of the day it's a business venture but we need to support locals and them to support us."

She said Miriam Vale was a hotspot for tourists, with many grey nomads and caravanners who drop by.

The business has 12 local staff on the books, half seniors, half juniors, all from local families.

"They are an amazing group of people; there's no way I could have been doing it without every single one of them," she said.

Mrs Thorne had been working for the Gladstone Regional Council since she returned to Miriam Vale.

"The customer service is transferable," she said.

"In council I was in a department helping people through a process and here it's the same, people come in and tell me what they want and my drive is to ensure they get exactly what they want."

She said they spent eight weeks revamping the building with new shelving, floor covering, new fridges and freezes, and they put a ramp in for prams and scooters, so it's fully accessible.

"I really emphasise the point that it's the whole community balance - yes I'm in business and at the end of the day we want to retire and sell in profit, but at the end of the day I'll make it work for the community and support each other," she said.

Topics:  gladstone business miriam vale small business supermarket

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