Changing of the guard at Balfour Store

Balfour Store current owner Leone Beatson will hand over the reins to new owner Mike Young at the end of the month.

After 14 years at the helm of the Balfour Store, Leone Beatson will hand over the keys to the new owner at the end of the month.

Mike Young takes the reins on July 31, but Mrs Beatson will stay on for his first three weeks to help with handover. Mr Young is a Southlander who has been living in Australia for the past few years.

Mrs Beatson said she felt now was the right time to move on.

“I’ve done 14 years, seven days a week. It’s time for me to go.”

What Mrs Beatson had enjoyed about the job was the people, she said.

“It’s a really nice farming community to be in.”

The Balfour Store has been operational since 1912, and Mrs Beatson has seen some changes just in her 14 years there, including an increase in tourists, and farm workers from all over the world working in the area.

“It’s very multicultural.”

The Balfour Store is a classic one-stopshop, with products ranging from produce, hardware and gifts.

“It is a country store with everything in it... people used to come here first before they went to go hunting for the things elsewhere.”

In the lead up to the handover there will be a huge sale on all gifts including bears, dolls, toys, puzzles and games, reduced by 60% on the original price.

After finishing up at the shop Mrs Beatson said she didn’t want to branch into anything new straightaway but would like to be nearer her grandchildren to spend more time with them and perhaps do some voluntary work.

Mrs Beatson said she wanted to wish the new owner well and thank the people who have supported her throughout the 14 years.


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