Meet The Locals: Corinne Nigro from the Anglesea Newsagency
At the beating heart of Anglesea are our 40 local traders, who sustain our lives in the most precious of ways.
Our Anglesea shops give our village a sense of place and offer an opportunity for the Anglesea community to come together.
Paul and Corinne Nigro took over the Anglesea Newsagency five years ago. When the Coronavirus recently forced us all into isolation, Corinne sprang into action. Corinne provided Anglesea businesses and locals with a lifeline by setting up an Anglesea Shop Local Facebook page and producing a leaflet detailing how we as a community can keep shopping while helping our favourite Anglesea businesses stay afloat. It’s proved to be a terrific support for business and locals. Corinne has also been supporting the Surf Coast Shire’s website BuySurfCoast.com.au by sharing their messages.
I spoke to Corinne about why we need to shop local.
Corinne, what inspired the Anglesea Shop Local leaflet?
A lot of people were unsure of what was open and what wasn’t. They knew that the pharmacy, supermarket and our newsagency were open. But the big challenge was getting the message out that you could also shop online, through social media or over the phone. Not everyone is online or on social media, so I thought it was essential to have a flyer made up that had a list of which retailers were still operating, even if their shopfront is closed. Most people were aware the local supermarket was open, but not that it was doing free home deliveries. Or that you could window shop at Frangipani or order flowers by calling Susan directly and she’d provide a free, contact-free home delivery. The flyer included websites, as well as contact details so that Anglesea residents could contact the owners for direct service.
You managed to mobilise the Anglesea business community very rapidly! How did it come together?
I rang business owners to see who would be interested in being involved and how they were responding to the crisis then collated the information. We all chipped in a few dollars to cover the printing. The Anglesea Post Office was terrific and delivered our leaflet to 1,000 homes in Anglesea. I also started an Anglesea Shop Local Facebook page that now has a few hundred followers, so businesses can put up posts if they’re changing operating hours, or offering specials. People have been very supportive. Every little bit helps. It reinforces we’re all in it together and that we will get through it together.
Why is it essential to spend money in the local area?
If people want to see their favourite little shops survive through difficult times, then it’s vital we support them. We have to spend money here if we want the shops to remain open after the restrictions are lifted. People don’t have to spend big money, but if they’ve got an option of buying something local or online, or to support Anglesea’s cafes and restaurants then it would be great if they could. Business owners have also pulled together. For example, Offshore, the café next door to our shop, is offering free delivery of their meals. If a resident would like a magazine from my shop, or a bunch of flowers from Frangipanis, then they’ll deliver them as well.
All the work you do behind the scenes highlights the importance of feeling supported in the local community. How can we help?
Make sure your neighbours are supported. We have a large retirement community, so it’s essential they know they’ve not alone. But people here are doing that anyway.
Just researching the market?
Why did you decide to buy the Anglesea Newsagency?
Paul has been coming to Anglesea since he was a child. His parents had a holiday house in Anglesea, so they’d come down from Melbourne most weekends. Then his parents retired to Anglesea. When we visited, Paul would dream about owning the Anglesea Newsagency. Paul’s parents had actually owned newsagencies in Melbourne when he was young so he had a taste for it. He used to do deliveries on his bike and work behind the counter. We moved to Torquay ten years ago to take over the Lotto Newsagency. After we sold our Torquay business we had a break, then the Anglesea Newsagency came on the market. Paul is now living his dream. It’s hard work and long hours, but we genuinely love it.
You’ve now been in Anglesea for five years. Is the spirit you witnessed with the response to the flyer reflective of the Anglesea community spirit?
The crisis has reinforced what a healthy, beautiful community we have in Anglesea. A lot of people come into the shop just for a chat. Paul opens up at 6am, and he’s got his regulars who come in to share a yarn, chat about football, what’s going on in town or tell a joke. While we can’t do that in person at the moment, if anyone is feeling isolated or lonely, we would still be happy to have a chat on the phone.
We would like to say a huge thank you for all your efforts, Corinne. The community would not be the same without you.
You can order office, school, art and craft supplies, cards, magazines, gifts, board games, puzzles and more from Corinne and Paul’s Newsagency and they’ll arrange delivery. Give them a call on 5263 1411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.