THE Harcourt general store has re-opened following 18 months of renovation by its new owner.
Annette Larsen Rae moved to the area almost five years ago after she saw potential in the town and decided to open the Harcourt Produce and General Store.
About 700 people attended the opening at the weekend.
"There's a lot of people who underestimate this little region, it's a hidden gem," she said. "We bought a property here about four-and-a-half years ago and the general store was totally run down," she said.
"I said 'that shop will be mine one day and will transform it into something beautiful'."
Collaboration is a part of the store's philosophy with Ms Larsen Rae - a former chef - offering food and drink from a number of local producers.
"It's all about collaboration and growing the pie so we all have a bigger slice of pie," she said.
"We have few producers around here who make olive oil, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables but what we can grow ourself, we are doing. We have turned the old backyard into vegetable garden.
"Donna who has Track Cafe, we work around her food so we don't have same as she does. We are a bit more of a providore and produce (store). We don't have a deep fryer, that's gone."
Ms Larsen Rae also offers home-made produce ranging from preserves to house-smoked salmon, craft beer and wine.
"Everything we make in our kitchen comes under the Larsen range," she said.
Harcourt is set for development with Mount Alexander Shire working on Plan Harcourt, something that Ms Larsen Rae is excited for.
"Nothing is holding us back, we need to show (that Harcourt) here to say," Ms Larsen Rae said. "The population is 1000 now but (it's tipped) to be in 3500 people in 10 years.
"Council just needs to follow through and get the infrastructure right for better parking, walking and bike trials.
"We're on an old highway and people drive so fast, so the infrastructure is important. I have even proposed a new streetscape for council to show what Harcourt could look like. We're not a highway town any longer."