The increasing number of “for sale” signs dotting the shopfronts of businesses across Broken Hill has become an alarming trend.
While it’s not uncommon for businesses to change hands, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have accelerated this process, raising concerns over the city’s local business landscape.
Renowned institutions like Masalla’s have closed their doors, while others such as Bernels Fish and Chips and the Gourmet Crib-Tin are looking for buyers.
However, Juls Murphy is seeking to buck the trend, with her decision to open a new Café tomorrow at 7/9 Chloride Street in the Town Square, earning applause from the community.
Opening an eatery is nothing new for Juls, reminiscing that she opened a café in Wilcannia, Miss Barrett’s, and operated the business for three-and-a-half years.
She also brings more than 30 years of catering experience to her new business, and confirmed she intends to start catering through the business in the next few months.
In an interview with the Truth, she announced that “When (the previous owner) told me the news she would be closing the doors without a buyer, I made an offer on the plant and equipment as well as excess stock.”
“An agreement was made that we would keep the same trading name with a slight alteration, (and so) I took the opportunity to implement my prior experience in hospitality and catering into the broken hill community,” she added.
Juls had been working as a cook for the previous owner for the last four months, “with the very talented chef Kyle,” she added.
Ms Murphy told the Truth she plans to continue “offering the amazing quality products the community have enjoyed in the past.”
Her plan is to keep the business very similar to what the customers were used to, and draw on the support from her daughter, Miranda, and son-in-law Alex, in a family-focused environment.
“We (will) aim to stock a variety of gourmet delicacies, and hampers will be available. We will also be introducing a wider range of in house baked items and catering,” she mentioned.
Ms Murphy went on to tell the Truth, she assures her customers that she is keeping the same suppliers for their pies and sausage rolls, “and we will also still have all of your favourite slices, cakes and donuts of course.”
She has spent this week menu planning and is now waiting on some additional items to arrive before her grand opening tomorrow.
“I appreciate the opportunity to take over this location and open the space back up to the community,” Juls said proudly.
She will begin showcasing some of her items, such as cheeses, meats, and dips, by putting out tastings throughout the day, and by providing new giftware lines.
The provisional opening hours for her new venture will be Monday 7.30am-3pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am-3pm, and weekends from 8am-1pm, with a view to extend trading hours closer to Christmas.
Ahead of her grand opening tomorrow, Ms Murphy concluded by saying “we are excited to welcome back and extend the family friendly vibe of the town square as it once was.”
PICTURE: (L-R) Julie Murphy with daughter Miranda Murphy and granddaughter Leila Murphy. PRISCILLA McINTOSH