OPENING: Roma’s $5 million IGA redevelopment
The hot topic circulating in Roma for weeks was ‘when does the new IGA open?’ and after two months, locals were invited in to see the new and improved Cornetts IGA, showcasing their $5 million redevelopment.
Despite the slight mishap of spelling ‘receiving’ wrong on a sign out the back, CEO of Cornetts Supermarkets Graham Booysen laughed about it at the opening on Wednesday, March 17 and said it was a proud day to present the new supermarket to the Roma community.
“We are very happy to present this store to the community and it just proves our confidence to regional Queensland country towns,” Mr Booysen said.
“A lot of people would remember the old store, and there’s been staff around for well over eight years who have talked about this development.
“And thanks to the creative minds who came up with this redevelopment and purchasing the land at the back and moving the car park to the front and it brings us to where we are today.”
The CEO said the redevelopment was a $5 million injection into the Roma community, after $2 million was spent to fit out the store and $3 million spent by the landlord.
Mr Booysen said all local contractors were involved, except some refrigeration that had to be brought from Brisbane.
He said 30 more staff were hired due to the size and variety now offered to customers with a total of 65 staff on board and they’re “always looking for more”.
At the opening, 4ZR broadcasted live from the store, Warrego MP Ann Leahy and Maranoa Regional Councillors were in attendance.
Mr Booysen presented a cheque to Drought Angels and said Cornetts IGA works closely with them to support local farmers in the region, and a $20,000 cheque to the Lion’s Club in Roma.
“We receive amazing support from Cornetts IGA … us as a charity being aligned with IGA really ensure we continue supporting local farmers and buying local,” Ms Jenny Gailey from Drought Angels said.
In attendance was also Joan Cornett, who started Cornetts IGA with husband Derek on Bribie Island 42-years ago.
Ms Cornett recalled taking over the Roma store in November 2000 and joked that the previous owner walked out with everything, besides the old fish left in the freezer for weeks.
The couple completed a full knock down rebuild of the store and sold the business to Mr Booysen about 2013.
Mr Cornett was in the supermarket business in England and the pair moved to Australia separately in 1963.
They didn’t know each other and met in Victoria before moving to Queensland in 1972 and ended up with 52 Cornetts IGA across the state.
Ms Cornett said she was impressed with the redevelopment and travelled from Sandstone Point for the opening.
“It’s absolutely fantastic what they have done with the store, it’s just so big now,” she said.
Maranoa mayor Tyson Golder thanked Cornetts IGA for offering this facility to the community.
“On behalf of the community and fellow councillors, I’d just like to congratulate the landlord and IGA for actually providing this great facility to the community,” he said.
“I know it’s been the hotly talked about ‘when’s IGA opening’, and just from a retail perspective, seeing how many people here already, you can see the fantastic support you have from the community.
“We appreciate IGA offering this store.”