By Shelby Brooks

Australian muesli queen Carolyn Creswell has big dreams as the new owner of The Borough Department Store in Korumburra.

In January, the founder of Carman’s Fine Foods attended the Borough Bushfire Benefit at the store and learnt about the upcoming sale from the previous landlord John Kennedy.

“I thought, ‘oh my gosh, this is something I would love to get involved in,’” Carolyn said.

For the last 15 years, Carolyn and her family have been enthusiastic members of the South Gippsland community, owning a 43 hectare property on the hills between Bena and Kongwak.

When her children were young, Carolyn and her husband drew a two-hour circle around Melbourne to find the perfect place in the country to spend weekends experiencing a farming lifestyle.

“We have cattle, horses and chickens- it’s a gorgeous farm life there,” Carolyn said.

“We absolutely love it and are committed to the area.

“Hopefully, the aim is to live there fulltime one day.”

The sale of The Borough was finalised on March 5 and was sold for $730,000.

“I’m very excited to buy The Borough,” Carolyn said.

“I’m really really proud.

“It’s a beautiful old building that is a great asset to the area.”

Although Carolyn is better known for Carman’s range of muesli products, The Borough will be a completely separate venture.

“There’s no Carman’s influence,” she said.

“It’s more about the passion and love of having something in the area that I think is an extremely beautiful space and hopefully go from strength to strength.”

The Borough has undergone some recent changes since re-opening after COVID-19 restrictions on June 6.

Tamsin Carvan, who was running her business Tamsin’s Table Cake Shop in one half of the store, bought out The Borough Pantry and Café, run in the other half by the owners of Udder and Hoe Gippsland.

“Over time it became apparent that that model probably wasn’t going to work long-term,” Carolyn said.

Carolyn explained from the viewpoint of a customer’s experience, having separate businesses on either side of the space could be confusing when trying to work out who to buy a coffee from.

Tamsin will now have full creativity over the entire space.

“I love Tamsin very much and think she is very talented,” Carolyn said.

“She has lots of plans to extend it and have lots of one-off functions at night… having the ability to have the whole space yourself is very exciting.”

For the moment, Carolyn has focussed on maintaining and improving the building, starting on jobs like fixing floorboards and gutters.

“I’m in it for the long-haul so we want the building in the best shape it can be so then Tamsin can weave her magic and do the best she can for the region.”