NEW VENTURE: Ross Duncan ready to make a go of it as owner of the Mulgildie Store.
NEW VENTURE: Ross Duncan ready to make a go of it as owner of the Mulgildie Store. Jack Lawrie

Ambitions high for store's new owner

MULGILDIE'S general store has a new owner after going on sale 10 weeks ago.

The store, which sits on the side of the Burnett Hwy, makes for a useful stopping point for workers passing through, and supplies groceries to people in the area.

Until this Monday, people looking to buy food or a snack had to take the trip to Monto in order to stock up.

Russ Duncan bought the store from the previous owners, Max and Lita Grubb.

A recent arrival to the area, Mr Duncan previously lived at Ayr, and worked as a manager at the Coles supermarket.

"I'm still finding my feet, but I wanted to hit the ground running,” he said.

"Max knew about my experience at Coles and got in touch with me about taking over shortly after they sold it.”

Things got off to a difficult start on the first day, where Russ had to not only get the hang of little things such as working the till, but business was quiet due to road works along the highway between Monto and Mulgildie.

He made the most of it however, by telling workers who stopped in to spread the word that he could keep them fed throughout the day.

"I want to really emphasise this as a place you can stop in for breakfast, morning tea or lunch,” he said.

"I've got a new coffee machine coming in and I'm going to expand the salad bar to make it like a Subway, so people can see the sandwiches as I'm making them and pick out what they want.”

Mrs Grubb was with Russ for most of the first couple of days showing him the ropes.

As well as teaching him the ins and outs, Mrs Grubb suggested taking advantage of regional produce.

"He's doing a great job and trying his best to keep everything local like I did because it's popular,” she said.

"I told him to get meat locally from Dan Miller's, I wasn't always able to get local bread but it's something I suggested and I'm putting him in touch with a few producers.”

Mr Duncan appears to have been taking the advice mostly to heart, and has arranged to get fresh fruit and vegetables sent out from Bundaberg farms.

"I grew up in Bundy, and I know a lot of the guys out there,” he said.

Mrs Grubb spoke highly of the new owner's character.

"I know the first few days are quite daunting because I've done it, but I think he's on the right track,” she said.

"I'm happy to help out where I can, I want him to do well.”


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