A historic and prominent block at Rutherglen’s entry will soon be home to a unique produce store and market venture dedicated to North East and Southern Riverina suppliers.
The former car sales site owned by Ken Jasper across the roundabout from the visitor information centre is being revamped to house the Rutherglen Provedore.
It’s been a project evolving in the background for Lisa Turner since moving to town from Wagga with her husband and two children just over four years ago.
“I saw this site and thought it was perfect, so I asked Ken Jasper what he was doing with it in 2015, and he said ‘we’re just about to pull it down’,” she said.
Instead an arrangement was reached for Mrs Turner to lease out the building from June.
“He’s put in all the power, added new toilets out the back and really invested in the property for us,” she said.
“They’re the mainstays of Rutherglen – this is where everyone bought their cars, and before that horse and buggy.
“We look to open at the end of August, once we have a fit out done and it all ticked off.”
The shopfront facing the road will host seating, a small cafe and a produce store, while the large shed where servicing and mechanics was done will be used to hold a harvest market.
“We’ll be having a harvest market on Thursday afternoons, from 2pm to 6pm or twilight depending on the time of year,” Mrs Turner said.
“During other times that space will be a venue for hire; we could do dinner, wine tastings, even cooking classes.
“We’ll be using coffee from the Mansfield Coffee Merchant, and we hope to showcase wine from winemakers who don’t necessarily have a cellar door.”
Mrs Turner also has an end goal for half of her staff to be workers living with a disability, with one team member already in training.
“My kids both live with autism, and I think it’s imperative I show them they should be given just as much opportunity as anyone else,” she said.
“If you want to come in here and breastfeed your child in the corner, no problems, or if you are in a wheelchair or are deaf we will accommodate you – every single person will be welcome.”
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