Jackie and Geoff Yeo, who own Finns Old Store in Canowindra's historic Gaskill Street, are this year celebrating a decade in business.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
From drought to flood and now COVID-19, the Yeos are proudly reflecting on the highlights from the past 10 years.
"It's been satisfying, especially restoring the building for me, and starting a business for Jackie," Geoff said.
The couple have transformed what was a derelict old building into a thriving meeting place, cafe, gift shop and art gallery.
"We've seen it grow year after year, even with COVID this year," Geoff said.
Jackie and Geoff, originally from Dubbo, discovered the store on a visit to Canowindra.
"I'd just restored another old store into a cafe, came for the day and spotted this," Jackie proudly says of the historic building.
Having been neglected for decades, the building was in need of lots of love and care.
Geoff and Jackie spent six months cleaning, painting, renovating in preparation for opening day.
Once many of the renovations were completed and they opened for business the store affectionately known as 'Finns Store' became a centrepiece of community and commercial life in Canowindra's unique bendy main street.
Despite the state they found the store in on that first visit, Jackie had no hesitation in answering what the appeal was.
"It was empty and in disrepair but I fell in love with the idea of bringing new life to the general store Thomas Joseph Finn established in the 1870s," Jackie said.
"It's a beautiful old building, and the actual location of Canowindra. It's ideal you're only a bit over two hours to Canberra, you've got Cowra, 40 minutes to Orange, Parkes and Forbes, it's in a bit of a centre," she said.
"To survive in a small town has been a challenge but we've done it."
And their secret to success with the bustling coffee shop, licensed café and emporium?
Jackie puts it down to a number of factors, including the great staff they have employed through the years, word of mouth when it comes to the quality of food on offer, support from local businesses and the support they have provided in return.
"I try to keep things inexpensive, I try to keep good quality, inexpensive food," Jackie said of the menu on offer.
"And everything we've done, we've used local suppliers, here or in Cowra," Jackie said.
Finns caters to differing tastes and is known for providing plenty for the discerning shopper in a place of community in a warm country environment. Hours at Finns are presently restricted to weekends but Jackie is happy to take group bookings during the week.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.