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Braddon supermarket haggling heats up again

Date

Henry Belot

Lonsdale Street Traders founder Nick Bulum.

Lonsdale Street Traders founder Nick Bulum. Photo: Elesa Lee

Debate over the potential development of a Braddon supermarket has resurfaced with a residents association dropping leaflets into letterboxes urging residents to clarify their support for a local grocery store.

The Canberra City Residents Association, which was formed in early 2013, suspects Braddon hipsters and apartment dwellers alike would be happier with access to everyday necessities within walking distance and have asked locals for their opinion.

The association's president, Joshua Ceramidas, said the survey was distributed earlier this week after public call for a local grocery store that would save residents from travelling up to a kilometre to a supermarket and relying on petrol stations for milk and bread.

Mr Bulum says many people in the area are calling for local stores that provide fresh produce, like Sweet Bones Bakery in Lonsdale Street.

Mr Bulum says many people in the area are calling for local stores that provide fresh produce, like Sweet Bones Bakery in Lonsdale Street. Photo: Graham Tidy

"We've put the survey out there because we're a small organisation and we want to see what people in the area think and engage with them," he said.

Mr Ceramidas was not willing to pre-empt the results of the survey, which will be used to inform government and business decisions, but said an earlier survey of residents in Acton would lead one to believe that those in Braddon would appreciate a local grocery store.

"Nearly two-thirds of people thought proximity of a local grocery store was important to their life," he said.

Mr Ceramidas said initial responses to the survey were positive, and people living in high-density areas in the city could enjoy a desirable lifestyle as long as amenities were provided as well as offices.

"The Acton precinct is a great role model for other parts of the city for habitable spaces. It's been done very well and that's recognised by the awards that they're winning," he said.

Mr Ceramidas said the local grocery need not be a major supermarket like a Coles or a Woolworths franchise and the survey would provide a greater understanding of what local residents really wanted.

But Lonsdale Street Traders founder Nick Bulum, who is widely credited for leading the revival of the street, said he was strongly opposed to the development of a supermarket chain in the Braddon area.

"I think delis should open, along with specialised and independent supermarkets and fresh food markets," he said.

"It's just a bit more cultural that way and isn't so Americanised. It would bring a little bit of culture into Australia and Canberra in particular."

While Mr Bulum acknowledged that many people in the area were calling for local stores that provided fresh produce, he said any development should match the Braddon, in particular Lonsdale Street, ethos.

"When you go to Europe and walk down the beautiful streets, you don't see a massive Costco, or Coles, or Woolworths, you see cute little vegetable stores or delis with fresh produce," he said.

The Canberra City Residents Association survey asks residents in the area to rank the importance of a local grocery store, to detail where they currently shop and how often, and to list what they'd like to see in any future store.

15 comments so far

  • all well and good to have a nice quant little grocery store but it's gotta sell stuff at reasonable prices and not jack up the prices 'cos it's sold in a cool'n'funky setting.....
    just sayin'...

    Commenter
    hipster doofus
    Location
    braddon
    Date and time
    July 24, 2014, 12:05PM
    • When has the ACT Government ever stood up to commercial interests? Looks at the way the Canberra Centre is devouring Civic and turning it into one big shpping mall. Disgraceful.

      Commenter
      Barry
      Location
      Inner North
      Date and time
      July 24, 2014, 12:06PM
      • No way Barry!!! A.C.T. government are really really tough, look at what they did to the Chop Shop idea. They were quick to knock that on the head before Canberra got anything slightly interesting or different. Showed those young people attempting something "commercial" who's boss didn't they?

        Commenter
        WotTha?????
        Date and time
        July 24, 2014, 2:50PM
    • The cute Euro style local deli or fruit & veg shop is all well and good - but they are not price competitive - most people want one stop shopping under one roof. Maybe the Braddon locals are happy to meander along from place to place - but it would not suit me. I visit the butcher, greengrocer, bakery - but they are all in one complex.

      Commenter
      MST
      Date and time
      July 24, 2014, 1:13PM
      • I don't even live in Braddon, however, I wouldn't find it a problem to go to the nearby Civic IGA after parking my car in Braddon.

        Commenter
        Street walker
        Location
        Weston
        Date and time
        July 24, 2014, 1:38PM
        • Mr Bulum has obviously never been to Europe before, because in fact "When you go to Europe and walk down the beautiful streets" you in fact see miniaturized versions of big supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsburys and Auchan under their "Express, Metro or Local" format offering comparative products to the bigger stores.

          The problem with smaller independent stores is the fact that they have very limited offering and are generally very expensive so no one shops there.

          If they are genuine about putting in supermarket facilities it would be more beneficial to the residents of the area. Or allow at the very least a "Superbarn", rather than the inevitable hippie organic non sustainable rubbish that no doubt will appear.

          Commenter
          chalky
          Location
          Braddon
          Date and time
          July 24, 2014, 2:07PM
          • As a relative newcomer from Sydney to the Braddon lifestyle (which, don't get me wrong, i love), I do find it odd that I have to travel to Belconnen or Queanbeyan to visit a large supermarket with adequate free parking, generous aisles, and lots of competitively-priced produce.

            Commenter
            Claude
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            July 24, 2014, 2:47PM
            • You don't. Try Civic, or Dickson, or Gungahlin.

              Commenter
              WotTha?????
              Date and time
              July 24, 2014, 3:03PM
            • umm civic Aldi and supabarn, do you need a map?

              Commenter
              really Belco?
              Date and time
              July 25, 2014, 12:25PM
          • 2 IGA's (East Row & Ainslie), a Supabarn and an Aldi within easy walking distance (i.e. less than 2km).

            yeah, they're really struggling for choice when it comes to local supermarkets.

            Commenter
            wookiee
            Date and time
            July 24, 2014, 3:29PM

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