Haulier swaps the high road for burgeoning home deliveries after family farm shop purchase


A former haulier-turned-shopkeeper has stepped into the driving seat of a long-established rural retail outlet after securing funds to fuel his entrepreneurial aspirations.

Michael Fisher parked a career as a long-distance driver when his father-in-law John Money decided to hang his apron at the popular Stallingborough Farm Shop.

And the 30-year-old business is now increasing its presence on the road, having bought three vans to expand a burgeoning home delivery service.

Nine new staff members have also been hired to meet demand for fresh fruit, veg, meats and flowers.

He said: “I always like the idea of running my own business and when the opportunity arose to secure the future of the business and give my father-in-law a long and well-deserved retirement plan, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

“I knew from the outset that running my own business would be a challenging and exciting journey, but when we signed on the dotted line, little did we appreciate just how much and how quickly the business would need to adapt as a result of Covid-19.”

Funds initially stopped the dream, with a need to purchase the business and stock. After exploring different ways of raising money needed, a friend suggested Finance For Enterprise – a delivery partner of British Business Bank-backed Start Up Loans UK.



Michael and Maria Fisher at Stallingborough Farm Shop.

He discussed his plans with Grimsby-based investment manager Jane Cusse who helped Mr Fisher and his wife Maria to secure £40,000 through two start-up loans, topped up by funds provided direct. “The financial support we received helped us to manage our cashflow, particularly during our first few months of trading when we didn’t know how lockdown would affect the business,” he said.

“The Farm Shop had always offered a home delivery service, but the funds we were able to secure from Finance For Enterprise enabled us to continue trading by delivering the fresh produce to the doors of our customers and as a result, we’ve managed to grow the business and create new jobs, something I feel incredibly proud to have achieved.

“Jane was amazing, she took the stress and worry away and kept us regularly updated through the application process.”

A willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty has seen the company receive rave reviews from its growing numbers of customers, with plans afoot to further expand the delivery fleet.

Jane said: “The retail sector has been particularly hard hit during the Covid pandemic, Michael and Maria spotted an opportunity to build and diversify their new business and they seized the opportunity.

“After spending time reviewing their business plans I put together a lending package which enabled them to not only acquire the existing company, but one which would help them to put their own mark on the business.

“Despite working in a challenging business climate, Michael and Maria’s hard work has really paid off and the amount of positive feedback they’ve received from their customers is a testament to their dedication and hard work. The Farm Shop is something of an institution in the Grimsby area and it’s great to see that its future is in safe hands.

“Accessing finance is one of the greatest challenges that many new business owners face, but the Start Up Loans scheme was specifically created to support new entrepreneurs. Michael and Maria presented a well thought out business plan, backed by forecasts based on the historical performance of the business and under their leadership the business has gone from strength-to-strength.”

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Murwillumbah vintage shop owner battles head versus heart in parting with treasured fashion items


Combining her lifelong passion with a vintage retail outlet has left Jenny Turner in a spot of bother — a very real struggle to actually part with her beloved collectables.

Growing up adoring her mum’s beehive hairdos and her nan’s Sunday finery of hats, gloves and matching handbags, Jenny was hooked on fashion.

She admittedly had a “bit of a glory chest going on” but marriage and children saw the hobby sidelined.

That was until a family holiday to the United States.

“I just beelined for vintage everywhere,” Ms Turner said.

“That’s when I really, really started seriously collecting.”

This ornate hat is adorned with mult-coloured feathers and a gold broach.(ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

Opening her own vintage store

All her vintage items went into storage and opening a shop was not even considered until 14 years ago.

“[I thought], ‘I need to share this with people,'” Ms Turner said.

But not everything has a sales tag.

The cloche hats with their distinctive fitted bell shape are just for show as are some other accessories.

Travelling gold cases for toothbrush, razor and antique pearl shell opera glasses
Travelling gold cases for a toothbrush, razor and antique pearl shell opera glasses.(ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

“They’re such rare pieces to get in sets.”

She opened a shop at Tweed Heads but found customers tended to browse and then turned to internet shopping for cheaper options.

In the middle of last year, the retail dream returned when she moved to Murwillumbah.

Show owner Jenny Turner behind the counter and old cash register surrounded by stacked vintage suitcases and photos of stars
Shop owner Jenny Turner rings up a sale in her shop.(ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

“I had a really good feel about the town,” Ms Turner said.

“I found this wonderful shop and here I am.

“I have clothing dating from the Edwardian era, which is roughly from 1880s.”

But her eclectic range covers fashions right through until the 1980s and includes ballgowns, a gold lame jacket, intricately designed shoes and swimwear.

Australia lacks original vintage pieces

Ms Turner said that by far most of her items were sourced from the United States.

“Australia has got good vintage but it hasn’t got the range,” Ms Turner said.

Ms Turner said women became creative with how they made their clothes, especially when money and materials were scarce.

“Women back in the Depression era used to make all their own clothing,” she said.

“They used to call it potato-sack material which is bizarre because it was beautiful floral material.

“I have some original dresses from that era.”

A step back in time

Entering through the curved glass and tiled shopfront, a group of older local ladies enjoyed a trip down memory lane.

Gayl McKay, a qualified seamstress, marvelled at the dresses of a bygone era.

Old style shopfront of vintage shop displaying dresses, hats, gloves, shoes, fur and old suitases
From head to toe and ready to go in vintage style.(ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

“Things are lined, there’s a lot of attention to detail which is quite expensive to do,” she said.

“You buy stuff and if they can’t print it on or put it on cheaply, then it is not done.

“Whereas these garments, in some cases, the piping and stitching … takes a lot of work.”

Ms McKay said the fitted fashions of the past were quite different from what women wore today.

“Modern clothes are much more designed for what’s called casualisation of clothing.”

Ms Turner’s said she was still finding the balance between selling her stock and keeping items for customers to enjoy.

She said she appreciated the “oohs” and “aahs” that came from customers as they browsed the racks.

“They come in and they just love the experience — they don’t even have to buy,” Ms Turner said.

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Driver taken to hospital after crashing through Plympton takeaway shop fence and into cars


The moment a car careered into a suburban Adelaide takeaway restaurant carpark has been caught on camera, with one witness saying she was only seconds away from being in its path.

Emergency services were called to the Barnacle Bill fish and chip shop on Anzac Highway at Plympton about 11:30pm on Tuesday to find the sedan had also crashed into several cars.

The driver, a 62-year-old woman, was taken to Flinders Medical Centre with minor injuries.

SA Police said she appeared “grossly intoxicated”, and said she had just left a nearby drive-through bottle shop when she allegedly hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

The car went through the fish and chip shop’s fence, “collided with the permanent outdoor dining furniture, through another fence and then hit two parked cars”, police said.

Local resident Penny-Jane Zadow, who lives in a nearby unit complex, said she witnessed the crash.

“It went straight into my next-door neighbour’s car and then into my car.”

Ms Zadow said she ran over to check on the driver, who had come dangerously close to gas pipes.

“It’s just very lucky — if she had been 10 centimetres to the right she would’ve collected the gas mains.”

A witness said the car narrowly missed a gas main.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Spence Denny)

Car ‘jumped’ through fence

Mika Sunuwar, who lives next door to Ms Zadow, said she heard a loud “bang” when the car slammed into her vehicle, which was parked out the front of her unit.

She said she had only bought her car less than a month ago.

“I feel really stressed, as an international student … it’s really hard to collect the money to buy a car.”

A damaged parked car
The Magna sedan crashed into two parked cars in front of a group of units.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Spence Denny)

CCTV footage provided by Paraschos Tsantes and his wife Sofia Frangos-Tsantes, who have owned and operated the Barnacle Bill outlet for 34 years, shows the airborne car slamming through the fence.

Mr Tsantes said he was “very upset” and likened the mess left by the incident to an “explosion”, saying it was “very lucky” no-one was killed.

He arrived at the store around midnight, after a phone call from police, and said the car had hit the fence as it “jumped” through the air.

“We’ve never seen anything like this. This is unbelievable,” Ms Frangos-Tsantes said.

In a statement, SA Police said a blood sample would be taken from the driver to determine her blood-alcohol content, and that she is “likely to face driving charges”.

A damaged fence in front of Barnacle Bill's
The car ploughed damaged the Barnacle Bill outlet on Anzac Highway.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Spence Denny)

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KFC SuperCoach 2021 study guide: One-stop shop for pre-season research


The clock is ticking to Round 1 and the first lockout of the 2021 KFC SuperCoach season.

If you’re playing for the first time or just catching up after a crazy summer, you’ve come to the right place.

From the best rookies to expert advice, this is your one-stop shop for KFC SuperCoach pre-season research.

>> SIGN UP FOR FREE AND START PICKING YOUR KFC SUPERCOACH TEAM NOW

START HERE

New to the game or need a refresher? Check out our beginner’s guide that includes everything you need to know from the rules to this year’s fantastic prizes, starting with $50,000 for the No.1 ranked SuperCoach at the end of the season.

Once you’ve signed up — it only takes a few minutes, we can wait! — you can follow this step-by-step expert guide to picking a team to challenge for your league premiership.

If you’re pushed for time, you can pick a competitive team in 10 minutes with this free cheat sheet — perfect for sending to friends or family you need in your league.

Check out Tim Michell’s 11 must-have players for 2021 and expert Al Paton’s 11 secrets to KFC SuperCoach domination. Seee an explainer of how the KFC SuperCoach scoring system works — and which players benefit the most from it — here,

Here are the 30 most popular selections and 11 players not to pick this season!

WHICH ROOKIES SHOULD I PICK?

This a key question to any serious KFC SuperCoach player. Getting the right cheapies is the key to building a team that can win games and increase in value, funding your trades during the season.

Some players to look closely at early on are Adelaide mature-age recruit James Rowe, North Melbourne’s top draft picks Will Phillips and Tom Powell, St Kilda defender Tom Highmore and Brisbane recruit Nakia Cockatoo, who could be the steal of the season if he can banish his injury curse.

Get profiles of 60 bottom-priced players who could play in Round 1 in the ROOKIE BIBLE. Bookmark that page, it will be updated across the pre-season.

EXPERT TEAMS

A great place to start or to see how your team compares to the experts is to check out the teams we have released over the pre-season: Al Paton | Tim Michell | The Phantom | Dan Batten | Gilbert Gardiner | Champion Data expert Fantasy Freako

BARGAIN HUNT

Everyone loves a bargain especially in KFC SuperCoach. Getting a top scorer for well under his real value can set up your whole season.

Here are the 11 biggest bargains of KFC SuperCoach in 2021, and don’t miss our updated mid-price rankings.

THE PHANTOM

South Australia’s biggest KFC SuperCoach expert has been studying the numbers for all the best picks this season, and he has unearthed some gems.

Click here for his ultimate guide to the best premium picks in every position.

If you don’t want to pay top dollar, he has also rated the best value picks in defence, midfield, the ruck and forward line.

ANALYSIS

Take your KFC SuperCoach preparation to the next level with in-depth analysis.

Find out how the fixture could effect some of the top KFC SuperCoach scorers here, what new (and old) rules mean for our KFC SuperCoach players, and click here for expert predictions of the top-scorers at every team.

And here is how our experts predict every AFL team will line up in Round 1.

And any player can super charge their KFC SuperCoach team with SuperCoach Plus, an exclusive suite of tools and extra stats.

PODCASTS

Get the latest KFC SuperCoach news and tips in your ears every week by subscribing to the official KFC SuperCoach AFL Podcast and The Phantom’s Lair.



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Break-in at Adelaide Chinatown bubble tea shop where alleged assault occurred


Police are investigating a break-in at the Fun Tea cafe, in Adelaide’s Chinatown district, where a young woman was allegedly assaulted nine days ago.

The security roller shutter of the business on Gouger Street in Adelaide’s CBD was forced open, and police were called to the premises just after midnight.

Officers searched the cafe but no-one was found inside, and police said it was unclear if anything had been stolen.

Police have urged anyone with information about the break-in to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Images on social media prior to the break-in show abusive messages scrawled on the front windows of the business, which has been in the public spotlight after an alleged assault occurred there nine days ago.

Footage of that incident, which went viral on social media, shows a verbal dispute between a man and a young woman who makes claims about wage theft.

The man can be heard denying the claims.

The video then shows another man stepping in and striking the woman in the face before kicking her to the ground.

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Footage of the alleged assault went viral on social media.

That man — a 39-year-old from Glen Osmond — has since been arrested and charged with assault.

Fun Tea has taped a note to the door acknowledging “a complaint about the employee’s pay or rates of pay” but said the claim was unrelated to the alleged assault.

Dozens of protesters gathered in the Chinatown district on Saturday urging better wage protections for vulnerable workers, especially migrants and international students.

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Weekly shop at supermarket convenience stores costs £320 more a year than main branches



Shoppers who do their weekly food shops at supermarket convenience stores pay £320 more a year than at big branches, a study by Which? found.

The consumer group tracked prices for an average basket of goods at Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local stores for five months and compared them to the prices for the same items at their bigger counterparts.

The Sainsbury’s shopper would have paid £6.18 extra a week equating to £322 a year, while the Tesco customer would have paid an additional £5.37 a week, or £279 a year.

Tesco said that the operating costs for its convenience stores were higher but that its prices remained competitive, while Sainsbury’s said its promotions often differed between shop formats.

Natalie Hitchins, from Which?, said: “Convenience stores have been a huge help to many of us during the pandemic. However, our research shows that shoppers who rely solely on supermarket convenience stores, rather than their larger stores for their groceries, are paying a premium.

“Customers will generally get more for their money at larger supermarket stores, but for some products, the price difference may not be significant, so it is always worth checking prices to make sure you are getting the best deal.”

More than half of Which? members surveyed who used convenience stores said cost was one of their biggest bugbears.



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Man arrested over attack on young woman in Adelaide bubble tea shop after video goes viral


A man has been arrested over an assault on a young woman on Gouger Street in Adelaide’s CBD that was captured on video and has gone viral on social media.

Police arrested a 39-year-old Glen Osmond man last night.

He is accused of striking a woman in the face and kicking her in the stomach at the Fun Tea shop last Friday night.

A 20-year-old Adelaide woman was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Video of the incident has been shared extensively on social media, and has prompted reactions of outrage and shock.

The footage shows a verbal dispute between a man and a woman, before which another man steps in and strikes the woman across the face.

A fight then breaks out in the shop, in which the same young woman is forcefully kicked to the ground by the same man.

As a result, she hits her head on a table.

A woman who rushes to her defence is thrown to the ground, falling on top of the other woman.

The video shows fearful customers in the cafe picking up their children and taking them out of harm’s way.

The accused man was granted bail.

He will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in May.

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Shop local initiative celebrates its anniversary


The Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business Marketplace is celebrating its first anniversary of helping Australians buy from bush businesses without going through numerous websites, scrolling through social media pages, or travelling hundreds of kilometres.

Founded in the midst of the bushfire crisis, Spend With Us is now helping 800 rural and regional Australian businesses in their survival not only from the bushfires but with the COVID-19 pandemic that first hit about a month after the initiative was launched.

Spend With Us was founded by Sarah Britz, a web designer from NSW and designer of the site; Lauren Hateley, a clinical psychologist from Victoria; and Jenn Donovan, a marketer from NSW who had earlier launched a “Buy from a Bush Business” campaign on Facebook. Donnovan merged with Britz and Hately in August 2020 to increase the impact of their initiatives on the rural and regional small-business community.

The online marketplace has had a successful 12 months, recording achievements such as:

  • Onboarding 800+ rural and regional small businesses to the platform.
  • Generating a quarter of a million dollars in sales income through the website marketplace for small businesses.
  • Gaining 1,886,955 website page views since August 2020.
  • Seeing over 303,000 members join the Buy From a Bush Business Facebook group.

“Reflecting on the year that was, the trio said no one could have been prepared for the impact the pandemic would have as 2020 rolled on,” Donnovan said. “Whilst the pandemic has highlighted Australia’s reliance on imported goods, it amplified our willingness to support local economies and other Australians doing it tough.”

Britz pointed out that many small-town retailers don’t have e-commerce sites or digital strategies, so creating a way for them to be online without all the hassle has proved invaluable in preserving the income of many small businesses as they were forced to close their doors to customers due to COVID.

“The shop local and shop small movements have gained momentum during the pandemic and the Australian spirit of helping each other remains as strong as ever,” Britz said.

The founders have plans to expand the platform both online and offline to help support small rural businesses even more in 2021.

“We are a marketplace and have built this online platform to support as many as we can, but we’d also like to support rural areas with some off-line support too,” Donnovan said.

“We are also very aware that those affected by bushfires 12 months ago, are still struggling to get on their feet. We do have a free bushfire 12-month membership to our platform, but we are always looking at other ways to support them even more in the coming 12 months,” Donnovan added.

Britz stressed that the team welcome feedback from local government, their members and the general public on innovative ways she and the team can help local communities deal with lack of tourism and foot traffic or slower sales.



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Dylan Walker pizza shop assault case to hear from up to 20 witnesses


Walker is still training with Manly ahead of making a call as to whether he will be allowed to play this year.

Police claim Walker left the restaurant after ordering a pepperoni pizza and attempted to enter the vehicle of a woman, who was unknown to him, parked outside the restaurant.

The NRL star’s case was back in court on Wednesday where lawyer Jessica Kavvalos was granted a request for two days in Sydney Downing Centre.Credit:NRL Photos

It is alleged Walker then became aggressive and assaulted after two men from the pizza shop confronted the player before he punched one of them in the face.

Walker was arrested nearby a short time later and was taken to Manly Police Station.

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According to court documents, Walker is not allowed to contact the witnesses as part of his bail conditions. He is also not allowed to be intoxicated while in a public place, and is not able to go within 50 metres of the Little Italy pizzeria.

“Police have been told that a man left the restaurant and attempted to enter the vehicle of a woman unknown to him parked outside the restaurant,” police said in a statement.

“When confronted the man allegedly became aggressive and was allegedly involved in a physical altercation, assaulting two men before fleeing.”

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Chester the fibreglass horse swaps the paint shop for a life on the stage


An icon of the streetscape in Moonah in Hobart’s north is destined for a new life on the stage.

Chester the horse had stood outside a paint shop on Main Road since the 1970s.

The 25-kilogram fibreglass horse was one of many around the country used to market Wattyl paint products.

Each day the horse was taken out of the shop and stood by the front door during opening hours.

When Hobart actor and theatre producer John Xintavelonis heard Chester was being retired from the shop, he jumped at the chance to provide the horse with a new life.

Mr Xintavelonis said Chester was available for bookings.(ABC News: Janek Frankowski)

“I was over the moon, it was like Christmas,” he said.

“It’s part of Tasmania, it’s an icon, it’s like having the Tasman Bridge at your house, or David Boon, instead I’ve got Chester the horse.

Chester being taken away from Wattyll Paint
Chester left his store in a horse float, of course.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

In 2019 Mr Xintavelonis used the horse in the Bawdy Panto, a satirical, adult-themed pantomime performed annually at Hobart’s Theatre Royal.

Chester featured in a medley about Tasmania’s Parliamentary Speaker, Sue Hickey.

Chester at the races.
Painter Kevin Foot took Chester to the races.(Supplied)

Chester also made appearances at the Hobart Cup over many years, thanks to local painter Kevin Foot.

Craig Lawler, who worked at Wattyl Paints for 15 years, said customers loved to greet the horse.

“It became an institution,” he said. “They petted him and they talked to him, so he’s quite a sociable animal.

“Kevin went to a lot of trouble with his own little area of the Hobart Cup.

“And we’d dress Chester up with saddles, and Kevin’s advertising spiel as well. He was certainly a hit out there.”

The painter died about six years ago.

Wattyl Paints declined to say why it was getting rid of the horse.

Man with tin of paint.
Former Wattyl employee Craig Lawler says the horse became an institution at the Moonah paint shop.(ABC News: Selina Ross)

Many see Chester’s disappearance from Moonah as a loss to the local streetscape.

“As people drive by or walk by, he certainly draws quite a bit of attention and that part of it is going to go,” Mr Lawler said.

Local resident Joanne Green agreed.

“I’ve lived in this area for 22 years, and it’s always been there, I’ve never known it not to be there,” Ms Green said.

‘Everyone knows who he is’

Mr Xintavelonis said the horse had “street cred”.

“He got a massive reception from the audience because everyone knows who he is,” he said.

“I got to ride him around on a big revolving stage, and to have him now as part of the family and to be able to feature him every year on the stage, I’m really happy.”

Lutana resident Joanne Green.
Lutana resident Joanne Green described Chester as an icon of the area.(ABC News: Selina Ross)

Mr Xintavelonis hopes to lend Chester to other people who want to use him for events or festivals.

“He’ll be around, he’s certainly not going to disappear from view, that’s for sure,” he said.

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