THE Colbinabbin community has officially bought the town's general store after months of negotiations.
The town formed a cooperative to purchase the store earlier this year, after the owners spent the past two years trying to sell.
The plan hit a roadblock in September, when negotiations stalled between the cooperative and the owners.
But Colbinabbin resident Matt McEvoy, who is director on the board of the cooperative, said the group would take over the site from December 12.
Read other news:
"The whole community feedback has been that everyone is ecstatic," he said. "There has been a real buzz around.
"We still have a lot of little administrative tasks to work out. We have to make sure we have all of the new equipment we need to take over.
"There are a lot of things that many people wouldn't even consider, like making sure we have adequate security. We have a pretty short window to make sure we get all of that installed and ready to go."
Mr McEvoy said there would only be small differences at first.
"The negotiations have been difficult and prolonged so that means people won't see an immediate grandiose change on that first day," he said.
"There will be noticeable changes, but it's going to take some time to find out feet and make all of the aesthetic changes that we're hoping to do."
Mr McEvoy said the cooperative was planning to have an official opening the week before Christmas. He said the new store would bring vital services to Colbinabbin.
"While the store wasn't closed, the services weren't what we thought they could or should be," Mr McEvoy said. "The one-couple model to run a store has run its race.
"We need to look at alternative ways to ensure services are run at the full capacity.
Read more news: Colbinabbin residents create cooperative to buy general store
"The cooperative model offers that because it has the entire support of the community and we would be able to make changes that wouldn't otherwise be possible as a private enterprise.
"We have access to so many people with skills and trades who give their time."
Mr McEvoy said the store had a new manager who would help move the store into the future. He said they were still looking for staff to fill a number of roles.
Mr McEvoy said residents around Colbinabbin could get in contact about the jobs via email@example.com.
"Despite how long it has taken, we're very excited for our whole community that this new venture is about to begin," he said. "We're looking forward to taking that next step into the future."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.