Mixed Businesses

I’m constantly fascinated by the colourful mixture of things that businesses sell in the bush. But of course these businesses have to run on a different mindset to those in the cities. City businesses have to stay focused on what they do well. Country businesses must provide what is needed by the community.

I saw this sign somewhere on the road between Mudgee and Bathurst:

“For Sale  – Wishing wells, geese, bird feeders”

In February of 1879 Ned Kelly and his gang of bushrangers held up the town of Jerilderie, NSW. The blacksmith shop where they had their horses shod can still be seen just behind the information centre. One would imagine that being both an undertaker and a blacksmith would be a “mixed business”.

In the little town of Tarwin Lower in Gippsland, Vic the church caters to three different flavours of Christianity. The Anglican and Uniting groups meet on alternating Sundays and the Catholics on Saturday. It saves on real estate I guess.

The Denham Post Office on the WA coast can certainly be described as a mixed business. As well as providing the mail service it is also a newsagent, gift shop, toy shop and chemist all rolled into one. Surprisingly there is even a pharmacist on duty and the crutches, well they’re over next to the bright yellow Express Post bags.

And while we’re on the subject, we were stocking up the freezer with good country meat at the butcher in Heathcote, Vic when we were surprised to see that he even sells work boots. So while Woody contemplated whether to buy T-Bone or Eye Fillet steak I checked out the steel caps in the window display.

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6 thoughts on “Mixed Businesses

  1. It’s great when you see this type of cooperation in a place. I loved the little church at Injune, it was Anglican, Catholic & Uniting, services held every second week and everyone in together. 🙂

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      1. We had to stop for a while in Injune after a brake caliper came loose, you won’t be surprised to know a true Bush Mechanic got us on the road again by using cable ties. He was a gem.

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  2. I love this sort of thing, especially when the combination of businesses sparks the imagination. On a highway we frequently travel there used to be a florist shop and a towing service advertised on the same sign. I suppose if you were involved in an accident the husband would tow your vehicle and the wife would provide the flowers to console you during your stay in the hospital recovering from your injuries or for your funeral if you don’t survive.

    I once saw a strip mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee where the combination of businesses could conceivably feed each other customers. There was a martial arts studio, a chiropractor, a lawyer and a bail bonds business in the same shopping center. If you injured your back while practicing karate the chiropractor could fix you up, or the lawyer could help you file suit. The bondsman could bail the loser of the law suit out of jail if there are criminal charges.

    My imagination really runs wild in a humorous way every time I drive by the taxidermist in Pageland, SC who planted his sign right beside a cemetery.

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