Roadside store brings neighbours together

A QUIRKY new general store offering trade, swap or IOU payment options will open this Easter long weekend. 

Tucked away in Drummond North, the Taradale Road General Store and Visitor Information Centre already has the welcome of locals.

The store is set on the eccentric property of Macedon Ranges Council cultural development officer, Terry Moore.

"It came about when a neighbour of mine popped over to get some cigarette papers," Terry explains.

"We were talking about how blokes like ourselves, when given shopping lists, end up coming home with all the stuff on the list except for the thing that you originally went out for, so we decided to make our own general store that would stock all the things that you run out of."

The ideas did not stop there. Residents of Taradale Road grew the concept to include a noticeboard and event listing, a supply of local maps and tourist information, fresh local produce on Saturdays and pizza by the order.

And this store keeper knows, when you live out of town, access to local news is important.

"We also wanted (the store) to be a place to get local news. So you can pick up local papers and information that affects residents," Terry says.

In true country town style, the store will operate on an honour system.

"Everything is by donation or trade, swap or even IOU (pay what you feel) and any money raised will go to Live 4 Life, preventing suicide in our young people," Terry says.

Terry is looking forward to seeing his neighbours connect through the store.

"In an era when we all communicate via social media, we are less likely to talk to our neighbours, not because we don't want to, just because we're so busy," he says.

"On Taradale Road, we all know each other's fire plans, when they are away, when they are coming back, look after each other's animals, borrow tools, build carports together and, of course, the general store.

"It would be great if other streets did something similar, as a social experiment."

Taradale Road General Store and Visitor Information Centre is located at 311 Taradale Road, Drummond North.

It will be open seven days a week as of lunchtime this Saturday.

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