Milestone: 20 years up for camping specialists
A GLADSTONE couple has celebrated 20 years of owning their business, saying community support had been overwhelming and enabled them to grow.
Karen Bargenquast and Brett Bowman purchased Gladstone Camping Centre in 2000 and said it started with a desire to own a business.
“Brett was a diesel fitter and I worked in retail,” Ms Bargenquast said.
“We just thought we could own our own business so we went to an accountant who said this was a great family business.
“We went from there and here we are 20 years later.”
Mr Bowman said he and his partner had seen business change drastically over the two decades.
“There have been massive changes but as times have changed we have diversified,” he said.
“At the start it was a lot of work wear, work boots and that sort of thing but now we do not do any of that now because it is well catered for around town.
“We have now ended up with prime brands like Yeti drink wear, Webber barbecues and plenty of smokers.”
Ms Bargenquast said her goals and aspirations for the future of the Gladstone Camping Centre revolved around growth.
“We have got our own premises now so that was a big step. We will keep growing and diversifying as we go on,” she said.
“If something isn’t working, try something else and if something is asked for which we don’t have, can we order it in?”
Mr Bowman and Ms Bargenquast said they were overwhelmed by the social media reaction to their 20th anniversary post last weekend.
“It was quite surprising that I knew nearly all of the names in the comments and it is good that people are still supporting local business,” Ms Bargenquast said.
Cr Desley O’Grady said it was fantastic that a local business possesses the staying power of Gladstone Camping Centre.
“They were originally behind the Gladstone Valley shopping centre in a facility with no aircon to begin with and to see them grow their business like this is awesome,” Cr O’Grady said.
“It really is great to see.”