Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bypass brings business boom

Last year's opening of the Nagambie bypass has had a flow-on benefit for the Congupna General Store.

ALEXANDRA BOLKAS February 6, 2014 4:46am

Rising trade: Congupna General Store manager Carmel Ash has noticed a 10 to 15 per cent increase in business since the Nagambie bypass opened last year.

Congupna General Store manager Carmel Ash says chicken schnitzels and dim sims have been flying off the bain-marie since the Nagambie bypass opened last year.

Mrs Ash has leased the store for 13 years with her husband Cliff.

She said she had noticed a 10 to 15 per cent increase in business from passing truck drivers since the Goulburn Valley Fwy bypass opened in April last year.

‘‘We get local truck drivers who are in grain transport,’’ she said.

‘‘And we get interstate truck drivers. The Katamatite-Shepparton Rd is very busy with trucks coming from Brisbane to Melbourne.’’

She said truck drivers often said they stopped at her store because it was easy to park.

‘‘They say it’s the easiest store to stop for a snack before they get to the bigger roadhouse where they can have a shower and rest,’’ Mrs Ash said.

‘‘And of course because of our friendly service.’’

She said crumbed chicken schnitzel was the most popular food item sold to truck drivers, closely followed by the dim sims.

In Nagambie, takeaway restaurant Billy Burgers owner Jose Jong, 58, said business had slowed significantly since the bypasss.

‘‘It’s very bad; I would say it has slowed 30 to 35 per cent,’’ Mr Jong said.

‘‘We used to have truck drivers stop for coffee and ice-cream, but we don’t do that any more.’’

He said tourists and townspeople were his sole source of business.

‘‘I’m not looking forward to winter — it’s going to be harder,’’ he said.

‘‘Before the bypass, winter was a problem to pay bills, now I don’t how it will be.

‘‘We’ll just have to wait and see.’’

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