Stationery Essentials, a long held family owned and operated local business, has this week change hands with Wendy Robinson handing over to the new owner, Bill Behsman, on Monday.
The stationery business (originally Pencraft and then Copper City Stationery) has been in operation in Cobar for 35 years with Wendy’s parents, Margaret and Ian Settree, taking ownership in August 2005.
The Settrees expanded the business (originally located across the road in the CathlicCare building in Barton Street) and moved into the current purpose-built premises in January 2009.
The shop sold more than just stationery with the Settrees expanding the range to include office furniture, fancy dress costumes, party supplies, craft items, luggage and later they began stocking toys.
Stationery Essentials has prided itself in how the business is presented with customer service an important focus.
The business was named the winner of the Retail and Personal Services category in the Regional Business Awards in 2009.
Over the years Stationery Essentials has featured strongly in the Great Cobar Business Awards including: winning the 2009 Retail Service category; in 2014 Wendy was acknowledged for Outstanding Customer Service; the business was Highly Commended in its Retail category in 2015 and won a Community Spirit award and employee Tara Arnold was named Most Invaluable Employee; in 2016 the business won a Marketing and Innovation award.
Wendy said she has mixed feelings about the sale of the business.
“I’m happy to start a new chapter in my life, happy to see the business go to locals, and happy to sell and not shut down like some retail outlets in country towns these days.
“I’m also sad to part with what Mum and Dad bought and built on and I’ll be sad not to interact with my staff and clients on a daily basis,” Wendy said.
She said she’s not too sure what her next move will be however “retirement is out of the question”.
“I don’t plan to do much this year, other than to clean my shed out and then start on the cupboards in the house,” she said.
“Then I’ll make a start next year to see what I want to do with the next phase of my life.
Wendy said she very much valued the support of Cobar people and Cobar companies who chose to shop locally to support her business and the town.
“I wish Bill all the best and would like to see my valued clients continue to support him.”
Bill said he was looking for a new challenge and saw the business as a good entry point into a different career.
“I personally needed a change, I’d been working as an electrician for a long time.”
Bill said it was his six year old son Ralph who planted the seed to buy the shop as it’s his “favourite shop in town”.
Bill said he’s got a few ideas for changes but for now he’s just very busy learning the ropes.