Tammy Kuiler has only ever known life with her parents Theo and Cathy owning the Sebastopol Discount Auto Parts store in Albert St.
That will all change on Friday when the Kuilers close the store they have run for 42 years and embark on a new journey together – retirement.
Their Albert St shop has become something of a local icon, having grown from a tin shed when it first opened to the current blue-fronted store it became about 25 years ago.
“Customers from day one still come in from out of town to visit. We’ve had customers cry when we told them were were shutting the shop,” Tammy said.
Theo has stayed true to his promise to open seven days a week, opening for an hour every Christmas Day as well as every Easter, New Year and public holidays.
When Cathy suggested closing for a day or two last Easter because they had already sold the business, he refused.
“I open, even for an hour, because we promise seven day trade. That’s what people like and I’ve always done it,” he said.
Theo, 76, and Cathy, 75, decided it was finally time to sell the business and retire after Tammy decided she didn’t want to take it over.
“I worked full time in the business for 20 years as well as part time and everything in between over the years, but you can only live this place so long,” Tammy said.
“I remember when I was a toddler and my brother was a baby in a cane baby carrier that mum would go down to V/Line, to the Goods Inn, and pick up stock and transport it back with us in tow.”
The couple are excited about the next stage in life, with jobs to complete around their home and more time to relax. For Cathy that’s in her large garden, and for Theo it’s with his first racehorse who he bred almost two years ago.
A Chemist Warehouse store will replace the auto parts store and neighbouring tattoo parlour.