Heartbreak over decision to close long-running supermarket
FOR nearly 70 years, a grocery business which started out as a small shop before growing into a supermarket has been part of Lismore's community.
But at the end of this month Foodworks in Leycester St will shut its doors and, with it, an era of Lismore's history closes too.
For the store's owner and manager, Christine Lancaster, the decision to close has been heartbreaking.
"It's been a hard decision to make, my customers and staff have been wonderful and so supportive,” she said.
"Some staff have been here for 30 years and I hope I have been good to them.”
Looking around her well-stocked and immaculately presented store, Ms Lancaster said she had "17 wonderful, reliable, hard-working staff,” and that if any businesses were looking for outstanding workers, she would be happy to provide references.
Nearly 10 years ago Ms Lancaster bought the business with her husband, Lindsay.
Before moving to Lismore the couple ran a successful Foodworks in Brisbane for many years and had semi-retired.
"Just two-and-a-half years after we moved here, Lindsay was diagnosed with cancer and passed away six months later,” she said.
"It's been a challenge and now the lease is up this year, utilities have gone through the roof and trying to keep up with the multi-national supermarkets is difficult.
"I called my staff together and told them the news.
"I wanted to do this is a respectful manner and not have them find our on social media.”
Previously known as Menin's Summerland Self-Service, Ms Lancaster said some of customers could remember the business back to the 1950s.
According to an article in the Lismore Echo, the supermarket grew from a small shop run by Mrs Gray and was known as a tuck shop for the nearby Catholic school (now Trinity College).
In 1937 it was taken over by Mrs Cusack, who looked after it with the help of her daughters.
It passed through various hands including Norm Granatelli, Don Mackie, a Mr Lawler then John Menin.
After she closes the store, Ms Lancaster will probably move up to North Queensland to be close to family.
"I want to thank the Lismore community,” she said.
"Thank you for your support.”