Penola IGA celebrates milestone

MILESTONE: Staff at Penola’s IGA will celebrate 10 years of operation at its prominent Church Street premises this week.

TOMORROW will mark 10 years since Penola IGA opened its doors at its prominent Church Street location.

Owners Kerry and Shane McPherson previously operated the business out of the building which is now a hardware store behind the Prince of Wales Hotel for almost two decades.

“That building was originally established in the 1850s as a general store,” Mr McPherson told The Pennant ahead of this weekend’s milestone celebrations.

10 YEARS: Kerry and Shane McPherson celebrate 10 years of operation at the purpose built IGA supermarket. The business owners previously operated out of the hardware store behind the Prince of Wales Hotel.

“The Lynn family owned the old store from about 1904 until the mid 1970s and the Thompson family operated there for about a decade.

“We purchased the store in 1989.”

Nineteen years later, the couple decided to build a new store twice the size of the original.

“We moved in here 10 years ago on December 8, vastly increasing our range and our turnover,” Mr McPherson said.

The supermarket now employs around 40 staff.

“In 2010, we won the state IGA store of the year award and in 2011 we won both the state award and the national store of the year award, which was pretty good.

“We did not expect that would happen in a town our size.

“We introduced our gourmet range three years ago and put in the cheese fridge – that range sets us apart from other IGA stores our size.

“The gourmet foods and cheeses all complement the wine industry and the range is unique.

“We also have a big gluten free and vegan range.”

The store recently featured in a nationwide Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) campaign, with Mrs McPherson selected from 1400 IGA owners to tell her story.

“We are so appreciative of the support we receive from our community and we try to give back as often as we can,” she said.

“When we built the new store, the community embraced it.

“We give back to sporting groups and support local initiatives wherever possible.”

Staff will celebrate the 10 year milestone with a cake cutting ceremony on Saturday morning at 11am.

Local suppliers will set up a small market outside the building and all community members are welcome to attend the celebrations.