Lights, camera, extension

YOU might have heard the sound of grinders, drills and hammers while shopping in Balaklava Foodland recently, as the shop begins its latest renovations which will expand the store by a third of its current size.

Owners, Mike and Megan Smith, are extending their store so customers will have 30 more bays of groceries to choose from, along with more than 30 per cent more refrigeration and double the amount of freezer space.

Customers will be able to access a larger variety of  frozen food, dairy and meat, with an added third of shelf space along each aisle as well.

“We’re absolutely rapt to be bringing more variety for our customers into the shop,” Mike said.

The store expansion will also see new flooring put down throughout the store, new vegetable, fruit and bakery preparation stations and new offices for staff at the back of the store.

“It’s all been very exciting to finally see the plans coming to fruition, we had been planning to complete the expansion at the start of the year before the pandemic hit, but of course it got put on hold,” Megan said.

“For the past two weeks our staff have been working long hours to get the store ready for the expansion which has been tough, but the final result will be fantastic for any shopper who comes through the doors,” Mike said.

Staying local has been key to the Smith’s expansion employing as many local businesses as possible for the construction of the shop build.

“We wanted to keep the work as local as we could so we have employed Switchworx Electrical, Goldney Welding, father and son builders Wayne and Mitchell Hill, Balaklava Stitch Joint, and Catfords Plumbing to all help throughout the project,” Mike said.

With the store extension still under way over the coming two to three weeks, the final section of the expansion will take place in the new year with upgrades to the front end of the store.

The final phase will see the addition of added express lanes and a kiosk at the front of the store, bringing nine checkouts in total to the store.

The Smiths are hoping to add growth back into the town of Balaklava alongside their expansion of the store, with a need to employ more staff alongside the expansion.

“We’re happy to be adding more express lanes to the store instead of utilising self serve checkouts, so we can add more local jobs to the district, but that will come with the final phase of building,” Mike said.

As the renovations continue, the Smiths would like to thank all of their customers for understanding and being patient while the renovations take place and assure customers they will have a fantastic shopping experience once the renovations have been completed.