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Chandra keeps his promise to Bourke

The crowd lining up for the opening of Spar Supermarket on Friday. Photo TWH

Bourke Spar Supermarket proprietor, Chandra Kollipara anticipating a rush of customers on opening day of the newly built supermarket last Friday. Photo TWH

Fifteen months ago, Chandra Kollipara lost his business and his livelihood when the Bourke Spar supermarket burnt to the ground.

Despite his loss, Chandra, along with his wife Ramya, made a promise to the Bourke community that he would stay in the town and rebuild.

On Friday, he kept his promise when the brand-new Spar supermarket opened its doors in Warraweena Street and began trading.

Chandra’s faith in the Bourke community appears to have been repaid, with a large crowd turning up to see Councillor Sally Davis and Chandra cut the ribbon at the official opening, and the tills have been ringing ever since.

On the first day of trade on Friday, Chandra said more than 800 people came through the doors, with another 800 through on Saturday – further proof that Chandra’s faith in this community was well-founded.

Chandra was relieved that apart from the usual and predicable EFTPOS glitches, the first days of trading were ‘back to business’.

“The staff were excited but a little bit rusty after 14 months away from work,” Chandra said.

“But it was a very successful opening, and we are very happy to be back in business again.

“I am very happy with how the building looks, we are fully stocked, and I am very happy that our customers have returned.

“Our biggest problem will be getting enough staff,” he said.

Currently there are 11 staff members, but like many other businesses in Bourke, securing committed, trained workers was now the next hurdle.

Councillor Sally Davis officiated at the opening, with Mayor Barry Hollman and Deputy Mayor Lachlan Ford both away, but said she was thrilled to be there to declare Spar supermarket open.

“It was just wonderful to cut the ribbon and really exciting to see another supermarket in town again,” Mrs Davis said.

“What brings it home to me is that they lost their business in a short amount of time, and they promised to rebuild.

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