Back in my hometown, and I’m visiting my old local neighbourhood store where I grew up.
I’m now 40, and I used to stand at this counter (well, not THIS exact counter, but the counter that was designed there at the time) when I was 10 years old+ eyeing off the 5c lollies, candy cigarettes, and order $2 worth chips. You used to could rent Sega Master System then.
The original owner / operator was a man with a maltese background called Michael. The store has been running as a mixed business, cooking hot food, groceries that are at full RRP or more, and was at one stage offering video and game rentals. He ran the place when it first was built in the early 1990s.
He sold it after five years to a husband & wife team from Poland (I think), who were in their mid 50s who were going to use the business to retire on. I still remember running up to the store from home as a teenager, needing to buy a bottle of cola. The lady asked me if it was a “Hot or Cold” cola. Confused, she was refering to the fact if I got it out of the fridge or from the shelf. They were charging an extra 30 cents for refrigerated cola. There was another time when I was about ten years, and I wanted to ‘hang out’ with friends without supervision. So I ran to the store with my pocket money and thought to buy a chocolate Bounty for Mum to ‘gift’ to her to suck up. The Bounty was 95c at the supermarket, but they were selling if for $1.10, and all I had was $1 in 20 and 10 cent coins. The lady gave it to me for 90 cents. Sadly, a few years into them running the takeaway store, the husband died of a heart attack. I remember that she ended up running it with her son or nephew, and she was miserable… understandably.
When I moved away from the area in my early 20s, I popped in one day to see an Asian family running it. I haven’t visited for over 20 years, and now after visiting today, an Arabic family are in charge. Going by photos on Google, I think there was another family running the store before them. Every person who I’ve interacted with there are extremely friendly, and I’ve seen it go from VHS / Game rental, to DVD, to just groceries – but always serving various hot foods and fruit / veg grown in the backyard of the store.
FYI – I ordered minimum chips – which is now $5.50, and a pineapple fritter for $2.20. But I’ve never had a ‘double’ fritter before. I’ll take it as a “Welcome back to the neighbourhood”.