When it comes to keeping hardware supplies local, Nathalia is showing the way.
Unlike the familiar story of small town shops losing customers to city chain stores, Limo’s Home Hardware and Rural Supplies at the end of Blake St is thriving.
Husband and wife owner-team Dean and Kristy Limbrick have been building the business since they took over from Dean’s father in 2012.
‘‘My father bought it in 2009 when it was a bit run down and he was looking for something in semi-retirement,’’ Dean said.
Today, thanks to long hours of hard work by Dean and Kristy the store is open seven days a week and employs four full-time staff, three casuals and also some young people.
Dean reels off a bewildering list of lines on the shelf at Limo’s — from auto parts to fishing and gardening goods and onto the more traditional hardware stocks of timber, plumbing and building and farm supplies and paint.
If you have a swimming pool, you will find chemicals, parts and service at Limo’s too.
Dean said the store’s biggest seller was bottled gas.
‘‘The town’s not on natural gas, so we deliver to houses if people can’t pick it up,’’ he said.
A former financial planner, Dean and his team have grown the business by 50 per cent since taking on the challenge of running a hardware store in the face of big chain suppliers just 40 minutes away in Shepparton.
‘‘It’s been a lot of hard work — we’ll never be as big as the big green box (Bunnings), but we want to become a one-stop shop for locals,’’ he said.
‘‘I love it — I could never do anything else now.’’