Flinders General Store, on the picturesque southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula, is a little time capsule from yesteryear that has retained values from the past. Now under new ownership, the traditional love of the Peninsula life persists, and supporting local producers remains an important part of the store’s role in the community.
The store has been a feature of Flinders for over 100 years. Now, as then, fishing and farming are the mainstays of the local economy; large quantities of abalone, crayfish and mussels are supplied to the local region and beyond. In recent times tourism has become a third key focus of the local community and this is where the main changes to the store have taken place.
David Gibbs took over Flinders General Store in 2011 with a view to continuing the store’s traditions as well as throwing in a twist of modernity for good measure. The primary focus remains, providing locals and visitors with everyday goods plus a wide range of fresh, high quality local farm produce, meats, seafood, wines, fresh bread and other baked goods.
Though Flinders itself only has a population of 900 people, there is a high visiting population from Melbourne, exploring the popular local area. With the nearby beaches and nature reserves, and plenty of scenic walks to choose from, catering for picnics is high on the agenda.
Sourcing products that fit well into hampers has been a successful approach for Catherine Fennell, who manages the business. The store retains its feel of being a local market under one roof and the traditional goods are supplemented by a few more unusual and exciting items to capture people’s attention. The aim is for locals and visitors alike to “Think Flinders General Store First” when planning meals or picnics.
Catherine sources a diverse range of products, focusing particularly on locally grown, made or produced items, such as Flinders Mussels, Flinders Farm hydroponic tomatoes, Red Hill and Main Ridge cheeses, Peninsula Fudge and Coorong Cottage cookies; their range of renowned Peninsula wines is extensive and increasing all the time and they also stock local beers.
The fabulous array of products made by people who are passionate about what they can bring to market is a source of pride to Catherine and David. The store is open 7.00am to 7.00pm seven days a week and during the summer months, from 7.00am to 8.00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.