BRONCOS legend Sam Thaiday and acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce were among those present to welcome the new White's IGA, which opened at Peregian Beach on Wednesday.
The pair were snapped at the store, Mr Joyce stopping for a photo with 17-month-old Ellsie Thaiday and dad Sam as part of a whirlwind tour of Queensland, the Courier Mail reported.
Peregian Beach resident Nicky Fernandez was one of the first shoppers to check out the new store, which was officially opened to the public by Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington.
Mrs Fernandez moved to Peregian Beach from Peregian Springs six months ago, and said she felt the only thing that was missing from the village was a supermarket.
"We always wanted to live in this area," Mrs Fernandez said. "It's a really nice community feel."
Local suppliers, local builders, local staff and local produce is the theme at the new IGA, which is Michael and Roz White's fourth.
The 1200sq m store includes a $2 million fit-out, drawing on features from the Whites' travels around Australia and overseas.
Mrs Fernandez said she felt the design really worked.
"The shopping experience itself is really great - as you enter you get that feeling it's an upmarket shopping centre, but the best thing is there's an espresso bar," she said.
"My husband is excited because he can sit there and read the paper while I do the shopping.
"And there's a cup holder in the trolley so I can wander around with my coffee."
The closest supermarket for Peregian Beach residents had been the Coles at Peregian Springs until White's IGA opened.
"The supermarket is great - it has a really great gourmet section and a really great range of stuff," Mrs Fernandez said.
"Things are fresh and local which is a big selling point - we feel like we're supporting the local economy instead of buying at Coles, which is a big chain."
The Whites said the design elements for the Peregian Beach IGA store were a combination of what they had seen in retail outlets throughout England and other parts of Europe, Asia and America.
"We've taken the best of these ideas and adapted them to what we think best suits the people of Peregian Beach," Ms White said.
"We hold the philosophy 'it is not our store, it is the community's store', and we want them to feel proud of it.
"Best of all, we've engaged a number of local firms such as John Maslen and his team at Advanced Refrigeration Technology at Warana to design, construct and install the store's $1m refrigeration system.
"The refrigeration system adopts cutting edge technology which is designed to reduce energy consumption and offer an impressive environmentally sustainable mode.
"The water cooled system also interacts geo-thermally utilising natural elements to cool and recycle energy.
"It's wonderful that this cooling system can be designed, constructed and installed right here on the Sunshine Coast."
Mr White said many of the refrigeration display units in the Peregian store had been custom built locally to their specifications.
A LOCAL PHILOSOPHY
Supporting the local community is part of the Whites' culture and how they operate on a daily basis.
"In fact it was written into our job descriptions when we were employing people for the new store," Mr White said.
"We wanted applicants to show how they support the local Peregian Beach community and it's really pleasing to know that we have employed many staff who are active in the local community," Ms White added.
She said the new store included all the traditional supermarket product lines along with a number of gourmet and hard-to-source items such as cheeses, breads, cured meat, seafood, spices, sauces and other condiments.
"We'll also have our own in house barista where customers can enjoy a freshly brewed coffee, they can sit and read the newspapers while their partner shops or just to take time out.
"It's going to be different but I am sure people will embrace this new shopping experience."
Long term local resident and experienced manager in the supermarket industry Tony Trask is the store manager.
"We are thrilled to have Tony on board to lead our Peregian Beach team," Ms White said.
"Tony has previously been awarded the industry international store manager of the year and his knowledge and experience has been invaluable.
"The rest of the team have been promoted from within the extended White's IGA team or they are newly recruited to the team.
"We'll have 70 staff working at Peregian Beach, most are locals and they all love the area so we really look forward to being an integral part of the community."
Other tenants within the Peregian Village Markets include the Healthsave Pharmacy, Cellarbrations bottleshop and on office for the Scanlon Group who have developed the precinct.
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