TWO Ballarat retail icons are expanding into the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhood.
The Wilson’s Fruit and Vegetables and Stems Flowers building is nearing completion and is set to open its doors next month at the new Lucas shopping centre.
The family business has grown from humble beginnings on an orchard at Warrenheip after World War II.
Today it is managed by third-generation siblings Peter Wilson and Melanie Fulcher.
Mr Wilson said he expected the store to open with more than 500 lines of fruit, vegetables, dry groceries and deli goods.
“It’s about a quality, predominantly Australian product, where possible,” he said.
“There will be a cafe focused on the orchard heritage created around homemade light meals and good coffee.”
The new precinct, which includes a modern Woolworths establishment and a forthcoming McDonald’s restaurant, serves the western development at Lucas and Alfredton.
“Competition is good and we are hoping we can have a good complex of customers,” Ms Fulcher said.
“We don’t aim to compete with Woolworths ...”
Stems Flowers owner Richard McClure said the agreement with Wilson’s would benefit both businesses.
“With a stand-alone store, we will have the synergy of a similar client base,” Mr McClure said.
“It is the third fastest-growing suburb in Victoria and we want to provide more convenient services to the people out here.”