Shoppers work up appetite

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

ROSS and Morelle Hopper decided to face the hungry crowds on their own at Stockland Gladstone yesterday.

As owners of The Donut Bar, Mr Hopper said the couple had decided to "do it alone'', without the help of other staff, for the Christmas public holidays.

"It's too expensive for us to employ staff and pay them doubletime-and-a-half to work on the public holidays, so we're here doing it on our own,'' Mr Hopper said.

He said it had been "worthwhile'' for his donut shop to open and the couple had been run off their feet serving customers.

"It's much busier than we thought it would be, and because a few of the other eateries are closed, it's been a lot busier for us, which is good because it's made it worthwhile for us to open,'' Mr Hopper said.

He said shoppers had been working up an appetite, with people continuing to buy food and drinks as they propelled their way through the crowds to snap up post-Christmas bargains.

"They're still buying the hot donuts, so we're still making them ? we'll be here 'til this afternoon, but not until the end,'' he said.

Mr Hopper said the general consensus among smaller businesses at the centre was to stay open until mid-afternoon. "The word is most people are closing around 2pm, so that's what we'll be doing as well,'' he said.

Mr and Mrs Hopper said while they did not look forward to opening on public holidays, it had been the right choice for them.

He said while he was expecting today to be slightly down on yesterday's sales, the store would still be busy.

Mr Hopper said the shop would remain open until 2pm this afternoon, before normal trading hours recommence tomorrow.



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