After 32 years operating a seven-day-a-week business, Paul and Kay Wangmann are looking forward to a retirement centred around family, gardening, fishing and community work.
Paul and Kay officially closed the doors to the Baradine Newsagency on Monday, 25 July, leaving a dent in the both the commercial and social fabric of Baradine.
Known for his fun banter with customers, Paul said he and Kay had both enjoyed their time in business.
“We took over the business from Tony and Robyn Lane over 30 years ago and we have both enjoyed serving the public very much,” Paul said.
“Baradine is a wonderful town, with wonderful people.”
Despite an intensive two-year search, the Wangmann’s were unable to locate a buyer for the business.
“We’ve had plenty of ‘tyre kickers’, but any business that is seven days a week is hard to run,” Paul said.
“We have sold over 90 per cent of our stock at a reduced price - people love a bargain - and the building will go to auction on 19 August.
“We have also tried to disperse the business around town. Lotto, papers and limited magazines will go to Emmy Lou’s Cafe, Freckles will take on the dry cleaning, and key cutting will now be available at Baradine Rural.”
Big lotto wins
Over the years, Paul and Kay have celebrated several major lotto wins by customers.
“The most memorable was when Carl “Charcoal” Botfield and Norman “Dummy” Head won Oz Lotto,” Paul said.
“In those days the number draw was done at 9pm.
“Carl arrived on my doorstep at 2.30am, waking me up to ask how much they’d won.
“I sent him away, but he then came back at 4.30am and made me open the shop up to check!”
Two $25,000 first prize “scratchies” have also been sold, including a win for Paul himself.
“We also sold two, second-place Powerball tickets, worth over $60,000 each.
“In one case it cost me a bottle of champagne, but in the other instance the winner was a farmer and I scored a dressed lamb!”
More than news
Not only a newsagency, the business was renowned for its lovely gift lines and toys.
“We always strived to stay up-to-date with our gift lines and toys.
“And I’ve always loved to serve the kids. The St John’s kids would come in each day to pick up the papers and I’d throw them at them - if they caught them, they got a lolly!”
Paul and Kay are now contemplating their future free from the beck and call of early morning starts and weekend work.
“We both like gardening,” Paul said.
“I like growing veggies - while Kay prefers flowers that you can’t eat!
“We are also looking forward to visiting family and friends and seeing more of Australia.
“We’ll also continue to be involved in the community in different ways.
“It’s sad to close, but with some ill health and getting older, now’s the time.
“They say it may be the end of an era, but life in Baradine will still go on!”
After 32 years in business, Paul and Kay Wangmann have closed the doors on the Baradine Newsagency.