The days of the old shop keep has mostly gone from mainstream life as the big corporations come in and take over driving out their rivals.
While for many the Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) supermarkets are still a large chain and as the fourth largest in the country that’s technically correct, the difference is they are independently owned. This means that unlike the majors may of the stores are run by the owners and that means they still hang onto that shopkeeper feel of past.
For Meadowbrook and surround locals, since October 2013 the Meadowbrook IGA has been owned and operated by the lovable and super friendly Sam Rizk.
Over the years Sam has built the store up to what it is today and many times has given back to the community in multiple ways.
However Sam is a family man with three children and after opening his second store in Loganlea a few years ago, Sam has decided it is time to move on from Meadowbrook and pass the reigns to a new owner.
Sam said that we have always battled the big guys across the street but it was never a problem as we have the support of the community.
“We are serving around 600 customers per day and it is never a dull moment.
“Family time is something that you never get back and I will miss the people here. It will be the same service and nothing will change from that.”
New owner Amrinder Singh has been working closely with Sam for a number of weeks getting his head around all of the processes in the store.
At 34, Amrinder is young and passionate about his new venture and while he has some awesome plans in place, he is retaining the current staff and is working hard to keep the same level of customer service as there has always been.
With a history in retail when he was living in India, Amrinder also had his own transport business here in Australia and has even worked as an optical mechanic. He was looking for a change to be off the road and in his own retail environment where he can look after his customers.
The transition is currently taking place and Amrinder is getting up to speed fast and getting to know all of his new and loyal customers.
Over the next couple of months expect to see some changes in the store. While the quality stock control will continue, Amrinder is going to be bringing in a coffee machine and café set up as well as improving the front look of the shop.
Sam will be missed from the store as many locals have come to know him and trust him like a therapist. While it will be different for a while, Amrinder is fitting in to the local community perfectly and in due course it will be like he has always been behind the counter.