Loddon calling for Entrepreneurs

Published on 24 March 2016

Two enterprising couples – encamped at opposite ends of the sprawling Loddon Shire – are reaping the benefits of their respective moves into small business.

Kane and Brooke Arnold are prospering with their butcher’s shop at Boort, while Dominic and Virginie Callea are relishing life in their eclectic antiques store and café at Eddington.

Kane has lived in Boort since 2012, working with brother Jye and Brooke at Arnold Family Butchers.
He ran third in the 2016 National Sausage King Awards in February, sponsored by the Australian Meat Industry Council.
“We’ve loved this place ever since we moved here,” he said.

“We have a new school, a new hospital on the way, the recreational lake and more. It’s an ideal place for young families like ourselves.”

For Dominic and Virginie, the former 1960s petrol station now home to their bustling Septembre Vintage store is the latest stop in a long and colourful journey.

Dominic moved between Melbourne and country Victoria in his younger days and spent many years working in Europe before meeting his future wife, Virginie, in France.

“Virginie found the Eddington site and we opened in September 2014,” he said.

The couple are savouring country life with their two children.

“We’re really enjoying the scenery, the sunsets and the sky,” Dominic said.

The Loddon Valley is located in central Victoria, north of Bendigo, dotted with such small towns as Bridgewater, Inglewood, Newbridge, Wedderburn, Boort, Pyramid Hill, Eddington and Tarnagulla.

Loddon Shire tourism marketing officer Robyn Vella said would-be business owners would be well-advised to consider a start-up in the area, which is trisected by three major highways.

“Vacant main street shops are available for any number of ventures,” Mrs Vella said.

“What about bakeries, cafes, an online business, detecting shop, natural therapy centre, boutique brewery, premium accommodation, wholefoods, fruit and vegies, outdoor canoeing, cycling, a tour company, riverboat cruiser or tour guiding?

“It’s only limited by your own imagination.

“Furthermore, these towns are a great “tree-change” opportunity, offering good schools, sporting clubs, affordable housing and even ‘house and land’ packages.

“Council is taking a proactive stance in the hunt for new businesses and initiatives for potential entrepreneurs are assessed on an individual basis.”

Loddon Real Estate principal Jason Lumsden has several commercial premises in Wedderburn on his books at present.

“One is a double shopfront with highway frontage at $139,000 and we have two former bank buildings priced at $149,000 and $146,000,” Jason said.

“We also have a combination shop and three-storey townhouse with large garage and studio advertised at $265,000.”

James Nevins, of F.P. Nevins & Co in Inglewood, said the premier property on sale locally at present was the former Masonic Hall.

“That’s up for expressions of interest, but it’s a rare offering and still has all the Masonic fittings in it,” James said.

“It could make for a good art gallery.”

For general enquiries or a tour of the region to inspect the commercial opportunities available, phone (03) 5494 1233.