While supporting local isn’t exactly a new trend, it is one that is definitely gaining momentum in Canberra.
Working in real estate, it’s something I notice daily, chatting with residents about what they love about living where they do. The answer is so often about community and lifestyle, not the home itself.
With technology removing the human element from so many transactions, it seems to have increased the value of personal, bespoke service when we do receive it. It’s an interesting cultural shift in a relatively short time, the appreciation of big business to small; local shops, farmers markets, locally-made craft beer, handmade jewellery, the list goes on.
The evidence lies in the massive success in the rejuvenation of local shopping centres out in our suburbs. Where 10 years ago many of these centres were deserted, now new businesses are thriving with originality and innovation. Personalised service with locally-made produce and products are creating a sense of belonging, identity and pride.
The Cook shops are an incredible example, becoming over the past few years a thriving hub for the community. The Cook Grocer leads the way with a tailored service and shelves stocked with so many Canberra favourites including an amazing selection of Canberra wines, beer and gin.
I spoke with Daniel Raad from the Cook Grocer about the family owned and run business. “We love our customers and our community, we focus on a personalised service where our customers know us by first name,” he said.
“To be honest it’s made easy by our customers who are all community orientated and truly want the shops to thrive.”
Guy Cassis, Cook resident of 20 years says, “The suburb has a real communal feeling, particularly since the shops have come along, more of the community is gravitating down here and you’re bumping into people you know all the time.”
From a real estate perspective, it’s raised the profile of the surrounding area, increasing popularity and demand which contributes to a rise in home values. From a personal perspective, it’s wonderful to see locals supporting local, investing in the ongoing wealth of their community.
Sally Strang is a residential real estate sales agent with a boutique agency, home.byholly, which focuses on selling houses throughout the established Canberra suburbs.