TOUGH MARKET: Carmel Ward and Beverly Merrett have been trying to sell their shop for five years but haven't been able to find a buyer.
TOUGH MARKET: Carmel Ward and Beverly Merrett have been trying to sell their shop for five years but haven't been able to find a buyer.

Iconic Gladstone business can't find a buyer

AS A young girl Beverly Merrett moved around with her family working on dairies and farms picking fruit, potatoes and onions.

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Ms Merrett said she was out working hard for her family by the time she was 12-years-old.

But for the last 11 years Ms Merrett has been working in tandem with her daughter Carmel Ward behind the counter at their shop --- the Rossella Street Store.

"At the moment I'm pretty full up," Ms Merrett said.

"I've got a roster for work. I've got a roster for babysitting. I've got a roster for looking after my daughter's five horses and dogs.

"So having a little bit of time for myself would be good," she said.

And for the last five years that's what the pair have been trying to do.

The business duo decided to put the shop up for sale five years ago so Ms Merrett could retire but sadly they haven't been able to attract any buyers.

In all that time they've only come close to selling the Rossella Street Store once.

"It's a bit disappointing but we try not to worry about it," Ms Ward said.

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Ms Ward said there was plenty of interest in the business in the early days, which turned into disinterest during the boom, and finally she hasn't had any interest for the last 12 months.

"It was just a corner store when we came in…and now we sell more takeaway than groceries," Ms Ward said.

"And once the supermarkets opened up to seven days --- it wasn't worth us staying open as just a supermarket."

Ms Ward said sometimes they would see the same guys come in three times a day to buy food.

"They come in early and get something on the way to work and then they'll be back at smoko and then back at lunch," she said.

The pair agreed that if they finally sold the shop they would miss having conversations with their customers the most.

"We've got Norm who was the first customer to come into the shop and he's still alive…he's 97-years-old and he's quite cheeky and he likes flirting with the girls," Ms Ward said.

"He lives just up the road and we take his meals up to him every day.

"We'll miss that but we'll still be able to pop in," Ms Ward said.

Both said they had no regrets and would happily do it all over again…if they ever sell the old school styled corner shop.



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