Lifestyle

Barbara Jean’s - Shepparton’s hidden gem

By Morgan Dyer

Hidden in Broomfield St in the middle of Shepparton’s industrial area you will find a real gem of a store - Barbara Jean's Crafts, Gifts, Wool and Cake Decorating Supplies.

The mouthful of a store name is reflective of the abundance of stock inside. 

The mouthful of a store name is reflective of the abundance of stock inside.

Walking through the door, shoppers’ eyes will light up as they sweep across one of the three rooms chock-a-block full of must-have trinkets.

Owner Barbara Wilkins originally opened the store more than 20 years ago in the Star Bowl Arcade and only moved to Broomfield St in January.

“We miss passing traffic per se but the regulars are slowly finding me more and more,” she said.

“Knitters and cake ladies are my regulars who have been with me since almost day dot.

“It started with a little bit of wool, a bit of giftware and a few crafty things.”

But within a few years of opening, an opportunity to stock cake supplies arose, and 22 years later the move has made the business what it is today.

From sought-after candles, cake toppers, modelling tools, hundreds of cookie cutters and slabs of icing to cake boards, cake tins and ribbons, the space Barbara calls the “cake decorating room” is a baker’s delight.

“We’ve got lots of suppliers who are predominantly from Victoria, but some are interstate,” Ms Wilkins said.

“It’s just grown and grown over time.

“We source a few extras along the way and if we don’t have something we try to find it, and that’s the same with the wool — if someone wants a particular colour or style, I am happy to order it in.”

However, like many businesses, Barbara's store has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had one of our customers lose 14 cake orders in one day,” she said.

“All the parties or big events that would have had cakes have been postponed and we have really felt the flow-on effect.

“Everything’s really come to a halt since March.”

But local crafters, knitters and cake makers, both novice and expert, new or old, can rest assured the store is open and ready to be trawled through.

It is located at 7 Broomfield St, Shepparton and open Monday to Saturday.

For more information check out Barbara Jean's, Cake Decorating Supplies — Shepparton on Facebook.

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