“THE Hicksborough General Store is a landmark” …a landmark that housed the lives of store owners and their families, serving the local community for well over 100 years. In those early days Hicksborough was on the map with its own railway station and school. The building was relocated from Hicksborough, near the Powlett River, in 1910. It was then extended into the store that you see today. In the store’s time on this corner, it has housed an iron monger, grocery, drapery, livestock and rural supplies, insurance agency and café…
So says the message on the wall high above the service counter, but it’s more than mere words.
“The store has always served the community and that’s still the essence of what we do today,” said Hicksborough store business owner and operator Lisa Price.
However, after pouring heart and soul into the business for the past three or so years, it’s time to hand over to new owners… and that opportunity might be knocking for you.
“We moved down here to run a farm and going into the business came at the right time for me but we want to devote more time to the farm now and I’d also like to have more time available for my family.
“But it’s been great.
“We’ve built a lovely business here with a loyal clientele who’ve embraced us and what we do.
“Most of our food is made here on the premises, except for about 5 per cent which is brought in pre-done.”
It’s a warm, cosy environment with the historic feel of the store, its windows looking out on to the passing world, the large tables and open service area all lending themselves to a feeling of tranquility and relaxation.
And being away from the hustle and bustle of Wonthaggi’s CBD provides the Hicksborough Store with a unique ambience for a meeting between friends in groups of two, four or more.
“There’s been quite a lot of improvements made here in the past few years. The owners did the outside and some of the work inside and we developed it inside,” said Lisa.
“It operates six days-a-week. We open at 7am (8.30am weekends in winter) do breakfasts and lunch and close at 3pm. We also offer outside catering and take bookings for night functions. It’s a fully licensed café.
“But it just needs someone else now to take it to the next level.
“It would be ideal for a couple, especially where one can take care of the kitchen and the other front of house.
“I really believe there is a lot more opportunity to develop the business and for new owners to add their own flavor.
“We have a small providore line which could be built on, functions could certainly be grown to the next level, there’s a lovely courtyard out the back where we do pizzas and local beers but it could easily host music events of a weekend, we display and sell work for a local photographer, there’s a changing display of collectables from Funky Pickers and we’ve got the Phoenix Dance Studio next door which is great for us.
“And this northern part of Wonthaggi is only going to grow. You could easily develop a prepared food side that would suit the tradies for example.
“People really do love it here, but our focus is changing and it’s time for someone else with new energy and new ideas to come in.”
It’s only the business that’s for sale, not the freehold, but Lisa says she has a happy relationship with the owners.
The business has been for sale since February/March this year and the owners are asking a realistic price, details of which can be provided by selling agent Danny Crellin of PBE Wonthaggi phone 0409 167 690.
“The store has a wonderful history in the area, it’s in a great location, it’s an excellent business now with plenty of upside. It’s always served the local community and that’s not going to change,” said Lisa.
A part of Wonthaggi’s heart is for sale