Karen and bryan DIXON
After living on the Sunshine Coast for 30 odd years, where they were married, had children and ran a successful timber business – Karen and Bryan moved to the village of Clunes. They’d always built and renovated houses, and what drew them to the Northern Rivers initially was a desire to buy and renovate a house in the highly-sought after region. That’s when they came across the Clunes Store. They weren’t afraid of hard work, and were eager to undertake the challenge – working very hard to acquire the store. Karen thought she’d never get her head around the business – and wanted to go back to the Sunshine Coast straight away (after just 2 weeks)!
The task was mammoth, but Karen and Bryan knew that this area deserved something better than what had been before, so forged on.
They had their eyes on the prize, and knew that Clunes was just a few years shy of a big boom like neighbouring village Bangalow. They knew if they didn’t succeed in taking the business further or keeping it going the way it was that it would be a huge loss to the community. It was a good incentive to make sure that it worked. It was stressful – but they knew that their ultimate goal was to deliver something really special to the community, and that they did.
They never imagined that their three children – worldly, curious and always on the move – would settle down in Clunes, too. Jireh, their eldest, had been overseas for 6 years, Leah, their youngest, was also gallivanting around the world, and Jared, their middle son, had been working across Australia pursuing his dream of wine making.
The kids were part of the foundation that rebuilt the business from the ground up – Jared worked tirelessly in the bottle shop transforming it into the unique space it is today, where he now sells his own wine; Leah worked in the shop where she wowed people with her friendly, down-to-earth nature until she opened her hairdressing salon just next door; and Jireh moved back from Japan to work in the cafe with her husband Sho, who then started their own business selling Gyoza out the front of the store. All the children’s businesses have since blossomed – all from humble beginnings in the store itself.
To Karen and Bryan, working with their family daily is the most special thing. It’s a safe, encouraging and supportive environment – what they call family-community. That unwavering bond and sense of familial love is what they want to envelop anyone who steps foot in the café or store in.
Jared| Jilly WinE CO
Jared’s wines are an extension of himself. Each vintage is the culmination of a creative journey, and marks a time and a place of creativity and inspiration that can never be reproduced in the same way. All of the wines are minimal intervention wines, utilising natural yeasts, no fining, and zero additives aside from a small amount of sulphur before going to bottle.
LEAH | ARTE HAIRDRESSING
With a hairdressing career that spans over 15 years, Leah has her own unique style for which she has become renowned: classic beauty with a contemporary edge. Leah’s creative work reflects an inventive openness, which together with her attention to detail, produces a ceaselessly stunning result. Renowned for her down to earth nature, true understanding of the creative process, Leah consistently delivers.
JIREH AND SHO | SHOZA GYOZA
Gyoza is a Japanese style dumpling produced by Sho, the owner of Shoza Gyoza, and his wife Jireh. They started from humble beginnings with Friday night sessions hosted out the front of the shop, which has since grown into a flourishing market-based business which travels from Gold Coast to Yamba, hosting events and catering for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.