Ballina bargain hunter ready to touch down
By MARY MANN firstname.lastname@example.org PEOPLE say you can not make friends in business. But Ballina's Bert Elliott knows you can.
The owner of Summerland Antiques & Garden Centre has spent the past 34 years travelling the world, collecting antiques and making friends with the many regulars who take time to mosey through his shop.
But he is now ready to leave it all behind, and has put the business on the market.
The antique shop, pot centre and all their contents are expected to sell for about $3.5 million.
"I'm not selling because I have to, it's just that I'm getting a bit too old to be travelling the world all the time, finding and buying things for the shop," the 66-year-old said.
"I'll be unbelievably sad to leave, it's devastating actually.
"I hope the people who buy it continue it on as an antiques business."
Bert, his wife Marcia and their business partners had the current Summerland Antiques store built about 14 years ago.
In 1982, they bought an antiques shop in Magellan Street in Lismore.
They sold the Lismore business after they had the Ballina centre built, and later bought out the partners of the Ballina business.
For the past 14-and-a-half years, Bert, Marcia and their beloved dog Dominic have dedicated their lives to antiques.
"I live for the excitement of the chase and the travelling," Bert said.
"There is a lot of travelling involved, you've got to be in Europe three times a year, Thailand three times a year, Vietnam and China each once a year and North America every now and then.
"The business would be perfect for a group of friends or a family that loves travelling."
Bert said the secret to making friends in business was easy.
"I always tell the truth," he said. "I don't try to fool people if you do, they won't come back."