Helen Johnson, Rebecca Worboys, Dave McEnally, Sara Williams, Dave Browning, Susan Sheppard, Andrew Simons, Logan Hotston. Absent. Charmaigne Derrick, Debbie Longford, Craig ‘Stewie’ Stewart, Zeth Schultz, Zac Spears, Phil Summerfield.

Cootamundra Mitre 10 store manager Rebecca Worboys celebrates 19 years in the business next year and she has a number of returning customers that have shopped ever since she first started. “The other day I sat out at the carpark for half an hour with an older gentlemen who has been coming here ever since I started,” she said. “It’s good to see those people come back and that’s what I love about my job.” Before Rebecca joined, there was Mitre 10 in Hovell Street and Mitchells Thrify Link Hardware Store, just around the corner on Parker Street respectively.

Then in the early 2000s, current Cootamundra Mitre 10 owner Nick Ligakis bought both businesses and moved everything to the site on Parker Street, naming it Mitchells Mitre 10 as the one entity. The most recent move was made six years ago to 190 Hovell Street, and locals have responded positively. At the current premises, retail floor space has doubled, the garden area has increased, more cars are able to be accommodated at the carpark and the timber yard has been organised better too. The youngest full-time employee Andrew Simons, has just finished a traineeship and is now in charge of the timber yard. With the new location there has been an increase in demand for slings of timber and Gyprock product. And this year the independently owned family-oriented hardware store has been busier than ever. Sales went through the “roof” as many were staying at home to do odd jobs such as leaking taps or painting of rooms.

With the recent blessing of the rain, many were also shopping for products to beautify and maintain their gardens. Besides Click and Collect, Click and Deliver was another initiative introduced and during COVID the store offered free delivery when people were advised not to leave their homes.

Today, there is an increase in the range of items and lately the store is helping locals with plenty of their gardening questions such as types of slugs and snail baits, as well as addressing of weed problems. Many customers are first-timers at a task and Rebecca’s team is there to advice or refer them to a nearby handyman who can help further. There are currently 14 staff members with eight full-timers and all of them live within the area. Debbie Longford works three days a week in the nursery with store accounts manager Helen Johnson filling in the other days, watering the plants, Helen also packs stock away when she’s not in the office. Store manager Rebecca and Susan Sheppard are in the office most of the time too, but they along with staff members Charmaigne Derrick, David Browning and Sara Williams, are versatile often accomplishing other tasks such as cutting keys and mixing paint.

 

Very often Craig “Stewie” Stewart will go out of his way to put something together for customers, fixes things and even does deliveries out of hours if needed. Over the years, Mitre 10 in Cootamundra has always supported the community through sponsoring local sporting teams and donations to a number of events and charities. Before the end of this year, the store is looking to giveaway a few prizes as well as hold a tradies breakfast. The major giveaway item is a wheelbarrow full of products for customers that have spent $30 or more instore. An esky full of tools will also be picked up by a lucky winner and other smaller giveaways involve liking and sharing Facebook posts by the store. Locally owned and operated, the store is open from 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm on Saturday and 9am to 3pm on Sunday. If there isn’t an item in the shop, feel free to ask the friendly staff and remember to shop local.

Christopher Tan