We took a trip to Coffs Harbour. That’s not something I do a lot of but its only a quarter of an hour or so up the road so we headed up there to look for a gift for our little girl who turns 4 next week. It started out moderately warm and became rather hot during the day. We did the big BUNNINGS hardware experience and followed that up with the centre of the city. One slight spat and we were up on the top floor eating Indian Curry and looking out over the Growers’ Markets and the main street.
Emporium Bellingen is situated on the ground floor of the historic Hammond and Wheatley Building.
It opened in 1985 as a frock shop called Kakadu Clothing. Kakadu is a word and place sacred to the people who inhabit the land, so it was returned with thanks to the owners. These days, the business identifies itself with the community and location to which it belongs. Bellingen, on the mid north coast of N.S.W, has been the context for Emporium Bellingen to grow into what is a complete men’s and women’s outfitters and homewares store.
The purpose of the new website will be to maintain communication with our existing client base, who already cherish the experience of entering our store .We hope to encourage people who haven’t discovered us to come and participate in the life of the business and the Bellingen environment which flourishes as a vibrant country town.
E-business is not really our thing. P-business is what sustains us in our work to maintain goodwill with our customers and to provide attentive service. People business recognises the importance of human contact and the challenge to keep relationships maintained. There is not much opportunity to practice kindness on eBay or go the extra mile which direct experience provides.
Mail order is a significant aspect of Emporium Bellingen and those brown paper packages tied up with string remind people of the Bellingen experience between visits. Ring us, email us, share a laugh and grow our connection. What happens on the web is secondary to the impact that coming to Bellingen has. Seeing the solar panels on the rooftops, attending a festival, participating in the local economy and realising how much effort is going into saving the local hospital is what counts.
Maintaining stable employment is a genuine achievement in a small country town. Shopping on the net might make some things appear cheaper, but at what cost to the real value of local economy? Emporium Bellingen is thinking about sustainability as you
Location Bellingen, Australia
Description Weekly fruit and vegie boxes filled with fresh, local, quality, organic produce.
General information Bellofoodbox Launching April 2011
A North Bank Community Garden Inc initiative.
Mission To provide a local, cost effective, food source that contributes to a fair, connected, sustainable and resilient community in the Bellingen Shire.
This week has erupted with stories from GURU FOODS. Seems they have fallen on hard times. Next thing you know, Heart Tribe has started a Facebook Support Page and then the next thing you know the Support TAKES OFF. For a glimpse of bello Culture, take a look at the page. KOMBU wiped all debts. People can be so DECENT and they are this time !
The rent is $550 per week. Get a Grip !
Guy Saddleton: Hi Amy – sorry to hear about this situation and happy to pledge $50. If I move into ‘business mode’ from ‘humanitarian mode’ I have to say that raising $4,000 to pay outstanding rent will help in eliminating debt for Guru which is important but it’s from that point on that needs to be considered too. If Guru doesn’t do enough trade to pay people and overheads it could be in the same boat in a few short months. I’m sure none of us wants to support you into another financial hole down the track – so the real challenge is making Guru profitable after clearing debt – no doubt there’s other outstanding bills in addition to rent and Kombu (who have offered to ‘clear the slate). Anyway not wanting to be negative but keen to see a an economically sustainable outcome to go with this fantastically environmentally sustainable business
Ava: yes its good to have a level head on the business side for sure! It is also important to see that the increasing of rent in the CBD needs to be curbed and advised against by intelligent Property Managers who are in touch with the ground level economic situation. What is the use of empty buildings for months on end? It’s just bad business. It is also important to acknowledge that the winter period is terribly slow for many businesses in Bellingen and it is ridiculous to base rent on summer money swell. In the case of Guru Food there has been a non-monetary contribution to the community not to mention that Guru Food seems to have provided Bellingen a heart again amidst its identity crisis.
I think that the Chamber of Commerce’s should consider that losing Guru Food will have a negative effect on tourism in the attractiveness to the alternative sector. And it that it could lobby the council that a change needs to be made to stop situations like this occurring on a regular basis when it doesn’t have to. It should also be noted that Guru Food is the only place I know of where the youth of Bellingen feel they are accepted for who they are and has done a better job as a youth centre than any other during a hard period. While the community is now focused on the new youth centre it is important to note that the first youth management committee meeting was held at Guru Food last week with a turnout of 18 kids from diverse sectors of the community and that Amy donated her space and free soup and free chai to all. The next day the locks on her doors were changed. The business people, real estate and property owners need to take a good look at what they value in this town and see who is doing the real work, the work that really comes from the heart, and the hard work that keeps a community together. I have no doubt the people of Bellingen can come up with the means to help Amy keep up her good work, and it should come from all levels of society.
IZZY FOREAL AT GURU