DESPITE selling their long-running supermarket, the Fredericks family will retain a link to the Jamberoo community.
Trevor Fredericks and his wife Carmel Goldsmith have sold the Jamberoo and Kiama Downs IGA supermarkets, after more than two decades punctuated by countless work hours, fire and theft and community support.
“It’s been a 24/7 commitment for many years, but we can’t keep doing that forever,” Mr Fredericks said.
“The business has been in our family for, in our 91st year, so it’s obviously a big decision to move on, but it comes to a time where you realise you can’t go forever, and maybe it’s the right time for us to stop now.”
The pair will pass the reins to the team from IGA Thirroul on November 18.
Obviously after the fire, we had to do a bit of soul-searching, but fairly quickly we realised that the community needed a supermarket in the town, and we were committed to putting it back and re-establishing it.Trevor Fredericks
“Of course there is a little sadness, but… this is the right time for us to step down, for our family and for the business,” Mr Fredericks said.
The Jamberoo building will remain in the Fredericks family.
“I think it was important from our family’s history to maintain that link to our past and our future,” Mr Fredericks said.
The Fredericks family has had a retail presence in Jamberoo since the 1920s.
The family occupied the heritage-listed Allowrie Street building since 1961.
The original store, located 100 metres along Allowrie Street, was founded by Mr Fredericks’s grandfather, Ernest Fredericks, in 1924.
Brothers Eric and Alwyn Fredericks would later run the two stores concurrently, from 1961 to 1990.
The general store, known to locals as “Freddo’s”, has been operated by former Kiama councillor Trevor Fredericks and Mrs Goldsmith since 1991.
The Kiama Downs store opened in 2009.
Jamberoo townsfolk were devastated when fire gutted the historic Allowrie Street building in December 2012.
The family established a makeshift shop across the road and rebuilt the original site.
It was officially opened on April 12.
An attempted break-in to the newly-reopened supermarket followed the fire, two armed hold-ups at their Kiama Downs store and three break-ins at their temporary store in Jamberoo in just 15 months.
Mr Fredericks said they had planned to sell the business prior to the fire.
“We had worked very long hours for many years, and we were looking at slowly reducing our workload probably three years ago,” he said.
“We had looked at selling the Jamberoo store and keeping the Kiama Downs store.
“Obviously after the fire, we had to do a bit of soul-searching, but fairly quickly we realised that the community needed a supermarket in the town, and we were committed to putting it back and re-establishing it.
“That obviously took a long time, and a couple of headaches along the way, but the store is now complete and we’re quite proud of it.
“We feel our job’s done to a degree, and we’re looking to slow down a little and enjoy a little bit of life.”
Mr Fredericks thanked the communities of Jamberoo and Kiama Downs for their support, as well as the hundreds of staff members who have worked at the business.
“We’re looking forward to stopping, so we don’t have any immediate plans.
“We will probably return to work at some stage, but we’re looking forward to having a decent year or so as a break, and looking at what happens after that.”
Kiama resident Mr Fredericks said having the team from IGA Thirroul taking over would be the best thing for the businesses.
“They are as local as you’ll find and they have a proven track record with their business and the community of Thirroul, and they have committed to employ all our staff.”
David Hoade from IGA Thirroul has plans for the fresh food, grocery range and a few technological changes, but said otherwise it will be business as usual.
“We want the transition to be as seamless as possible,” he said.