“For creating a great shopping experience” is why one Magnet reader nominated Con and Julie Castrissios of Eden IGA for the 2012 Excellence in Eden Business Awards.
The Eden locals were also praised for their “efficient, friendly service, and great staff”, and have built a great rapport with the community after taking over the business in October 2010.
“I like to treat customers the way I like to be treated,” Con said amid the bustle of Tuesday’s dinner shop.
His and Julie’s philosophy is simple but it works.
“I always make sure my staff are friendly and always try to help a customer with whatever they need, you always want them to have a good shopping experience.”
They have broadened product lines in the gourmet delicatessen and on the shelves, responding to their popularity with their shoppers.
“Some things work, some things don’t and if they don’t work we don’t get them back.”
Eden IGA has 35 casual and full time staff with 20 years experience in customer service.
“We’ve got some great girls; they know all the locals and they know what they want and need,” Julie said.
Con and Julie’s own children are among those who work after school.
“For some of them it’s their first jobs, they’re a great bunch of kids.”
“We took on some really good staff, they’ve worked well with the Chester family (previous owners of the business and inaugural winners of the Best Retail Business award in the 2010 Excellence in Eden Business Awards) and they’re working well for us too.”
Adjusting to the seasonal trade swings in Eden was a challenge in comparison to running a retail business in Canberra so they introduced special times to shop like Con’s Shout, a happy hour between 6pm and 7pm, and a pensioner’s discount on pay days.
“People are taking advantage of it so it’s working,” he said.
“Whatever you can do to get customers through the door is good, and trying new things is also good.”