FOLLOWING a sense of rejuvenation and somewhere a little different, Sebastopol felt like the "right spot" for Mia and Talbot owner Leah and Hayes to set up shop.
The pink door, on the corner of Albert and Bridge streets, has already been piquing the interest of people driving past who have popped in to the candle and gift shop since its signage went up this month.
Mia and Talbot has been based in a a workshop at the back of Ms Hayes' house, originally starting with her candles and growing into gift hampers.
Ms Hayes said customers, particularly her market followers, had been asking about a shop and with a growing online following a shop seemed a natural next step.
The Sebastoopol community has been hit by changing times with the loss of bank branches, the Australia Post office shift to Delacombe Town Centre and major road works.
But Ms Hayes felt there were positive changes too, notably the massive multi-million dollar Coles supermarket overhaul nearby and people moving into the surburb.
Customers like to go destination shopping with parking and when you factor that in with a Sebas rejuvenation, it feels right.- Leah Hayes, Mia and Talbot
"Customers like to go destination shopping with parking and when you factor that in with a Sebas rejuvenation, it feels right," Ms Hayes said. "I've had a lot of people who are staying in Sebas motels calling in and looking to try different Ballarat-made things.
"One thing I've found since opening is people calling in who say 'I just live around the corner'. I used to visit all the markets and there was a lot of people moving to Sebas as more people move to regional Victoria.
"There is the supermarket coming, the bowls club and a few food places out here, it's changing and I felt I wanted to get in before a big push."
Mia and Talbot's spot on the roundabout attracts attention from people entering or leaving Ballarat and has the added benefit of being located near traffic cutting to and from Mount Clear.
But her stock also has people prepared to make the visit.
IN OTHER NEWS
Mia and Talbot focuses on Ballarat-made gifts, artisan crafts and produce, including the brand's well-known candle collection.
In making up hampers, Ms Hayes said she had sourced a couple of items from across regional Victoria, or at the least ensuring a product was Australian made.
As Ms Hayes gets to know more brands from the Ballarat region, she swaps them in.
Her shop has also started to inspire other stockists about the region. For example, one of her sauce suppliers said their product had been picked up by another shop in regional Victoria whose owner had visited Mia and Talbot in Ballarat.
Coles has promised its redeveloped Sebastopol store would "offer more choice and an enhanced shopping experience" with the accompanying Liquorland to feature the "very best of local beer, wine and spirits", a Coles spokesperson told The Courier.
While Coles is yet to confirm specific details for its significantly larger supermarket on site, Ms Hayes was confident the produce she stocked would reach a different market and complement the gifts on offer.
Ms Hayes said the Sebastopol business community had been so welcoming.
"Everyone is so supportive of one another and no-one feels like they're in competition with each other," Ms Hayes said.
Meanwhile, a Coles spokesperson has confirmed the newly redeveloped supermarket was scheduled to be complete in the second half of this year.
The store will include a new drive-through Click and Collect.
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