The first specialty tenants in our new Casuarina Beach retail hub have been revealed – and they include some of the NSW North Coast’s best artisan food producers, cementing the region’s reputation as a culinary hotspot.
Butcher Craig Dudgeon and baker Simon Harrop already have a loyal customer base at Tweed Coast Meats and the Pottsville Bakehouse, and are now gearing up to expand their businesses by opening new stores in Casuarina’s first dedicated shopping precinct.
The $25 million Casuarina Beach retail hub, which is anchored by Coles Supermarkets, is on track to be delivered a month ahead of schedule, with the supermarket and some specialty stores due to open by March 2016.
Mr Dudgeon – who was one of the first residents at Casuarina Beach – says his new Meat Merchant Casuarina store would stock a range of free range and hormone-free meats to cater to the increasing number of people making educated choices about food health and quality.
“There has been a shift in the amount of awareness and education about the difference that good quality food can make in terms of health and taste, and more people are now choosing to feed their families hormone-free meats and produce as a result,” he said.
“Meat – and particularly beef – is a big part of the Australian diet, and I take pride in sourcing the best local livestock, so customers can be sure that their purchase is supporting the local economy and meets stringent ethical farming and sustainability standards.
“I’ve recently worked in the Middle East so I have seen first-hand exactly how lucky Australians are to be able to produce such a high standard of meat which is coveted world-wide.
“Meat Merchant Casuarina will stock a wide variety of meats and cuts – including beef, lamb, pork and chicken, along with deli items including locally made dips, sauces, chocolates and cured meats, so it’s a one-stop shop right next to Coles for customers’ convenience.”
Mr Harrop says he will draw on his international experience as a pastry chef to create a unique, full-line bakery and cafe at the Casuarina Beach retail hub.
“The Bakers Cafe at Casuarina Beach will be similar to The Pottsville Bakehouse, which has become very popular over the past five years, so it makes sense to open a second store in the area to keep up with demand,” he said.
“I draw on my experience working in high-end hotels in London to create authentic breads and pastries which are baked fresh in store daily.
“There’s a real art to making authentic European style pastries, and that’s the difference that keeps customers coming back each week to stock up on baked goods or to place an order for a cake for a birthday or wedding.
“The new store at Casuarina Beach will be home to the only cafe in the shopping centre so we will have a complete menu with baked goods along with fresh sandwiches, wraps and good quality coffee, so we will be offering much more than the average bakery.”
The Casuarina retail hub is being delivered by ourselves and CVS Lane Capital Partners. Construction commenced on site in April 2015, and when complete the new neighbourhood centre will include a 2500sqm full-line Coles supermarket together with 12 specialty stores covering a further 1300sqm and parking for 237 vehicles.
Our Managing Director of Retail and Commercial, Kieran Cox, said the Casuarina retail hub had attracted a long list of quality local tenants, who were now preparing to fit out their stores in readiness for the official opening early next year.
“The main structure of the shopping centre is nearing completion, and Coles and some specialty store retailers will commence their fit outs over the Christmas/ New Year period so they are ready to start trading in early 2016,” he said.
“We are just finalising plans with specialty retailers and will be announcing our key traders in the lead up to the opening, so locals can become familiar with the names and faces who will be operating the centre.
“Many of the store owners are locals who have an established reputation on the Tweed and are looking to either expand their business or make the move to Casuarina Beach, which is one of the fastest growing regions on the North Coast.
“There’s a good mix of tenants, including health, food, beauty and service retailers anchored by Coles, so the Casuarina retail centre will cater to residents and visitors looking for a one stop shopping destination.”