Most small towns have a store that boasts a lot of history. Mount Morgan is no exception to this rule with the consumer friendly IGA store in Dee Street.
Opened in the 1980s, it has evolved through many changes. In the past it has been known as Denham’s,
Cornetts, SPAR, IGA, AUR and Foodworks. Now owned by a new local, Hugh McGilvray and his business partner Leigh Verdich, the store has once again returned to one of its former names, operating under the IGA Banner.
Hugh was born at Coffs Harbour on the first of March 1982 and lived there all his school years before moving to the Gold Coast after finishing school. With one sister in journalism, being a vocal advocate on political issues, another working for Council, with strong green ideals and a brother who is an alternate genuine lover of life that puts family foremost, it isn’t surprising that Hugh is the quietest of them all.
Not one for getting into trouble, except giving his mum a few headaches, Hugh preferred to spend his time at the beach. He tried snow-boarding and loved it so much, all his time was spent saving money for his next snow-boarding holiday.
Hugh and his soul-mate -Fiance, Rachael were looking for a change from city living and new business
opportunities. Mount Morgan supermarket was on the top of the list to check out. “My first week in Mount Morgan I probably met more people than I met at the Gold Coast the whole time. That’s part of Mount
Morgan that I really love” Hugh replied when asked how he felt about the town in general.
Hugh enjoys being under the IGA banner. He hasn’t had a great deal of supermarket experience and says “It is a learning curve”. He really enjoys their standards that have to be met. Deb Shannon (manager) and Hugh have worked closely together making store changes that best suit everyone. He states proudly “The new staff are all working out very well and the staff that have been here are great to work with also”.
“I feel the best way to manage a store is to know what everyone is doing. If I lose touch with that and try to tell one of my staff to go and do something and try and do it this quick without actually been in and done it myself how am I going to know what goals to set and what is achievable.” He likes to know what needs doing so he can lead his staff in the right direction.
Hugh would love people to introduce themselves. “I will always try to make time for a chat and love to hear opinions from people on the store”. He says likes and dislikes will all be appreciated. “Best way to have the store the way the community wants it”.
Deb has been involved with the store for the past fifteen years and has seen many changes. “The store is running well with big changes for the better. It’s all going well.” She says there have been a few
minor hiccups but nothing that hasn’t been worth it. Deb loved working at the supermarket prior to the new ownership and is pleased to continue her manager role. She is used to change and looks forward to being a continued part of the store’s history.
Prior to Hugh and Leigh, Warren and Jeanette Brokenborough were in a joint ownership of the local
supermarket. Their input and years of service have been greatly appreciated by locals, out-of-towners
and tourists alike. From information given, they took over the store in 2002 and have been well noted for
employing local people of all age groups. Their generosity for donating goods for raffles and prizes
to assist in fundraisers is another aspect of their time running the supermarket that will never be forgotten by a large portion of the Mount Morgan Community.
One article can not possibly cover all the positives the Mount Morgan supermarket has under its history belt so in future profiles hopefully more shall be revealed.
- Profile and photograph by Heather Quarry, supplied to the Mount Morgan Argus -