September 21, 2019
Fans of Proston’s NB Inspirations Department Store were saddened last month when they learned the highly regarded nine-year-old business was closing down.
With just a handful of businesses now trading in Blake Street, news of the closure cast a pall over the small town.
But sorrow turned to delight this week when owners Nick and Anita Blanch announced they’ll be opening a newer, brighter business to take NB Inspirations’ place.
Their new business – like its predecessor – will be department store.
But unlike NB Inspirations, the new shop will have just four sections: “The Anita Lauren Boutique”; “Play, Grow & Learn: Kids”; “Men’s Trade, Surf, City & Country”; and a mystery fourth department that will be announced soon.
The new store will also have a special display aimed at attracting local visitors and tourists that will be continually added to.
“We are very committed to the South Burnett, and in particular, Proston,” Nick said.
“So it’s been important we find a way to achieve our goal of assisting Proston’s revitalisation, but in a sustainable way from a business standpoint.
“Despite many revisions, adaptations and efforts over the past nine years, we were unable to craft NB Inspirations into a truly sustainable operation.
“So we made the very difficult decision to close the business.”
Nick and Anita, who also operate Proston’s popular Jacaranda Tearooms, were one of the top four Queensland finalists in last year’s WFI Insurance Small Business Achiever Awards.
They are also board members of Proston Qld Ltd – the not-for-profit community group that recently acquired a block of shops in Blake Street.
They said they wanted to make it clear they intended to stay in Proston, and remained committed to the town.
But they hoped their new business will find its way to sustainability where NB Inspirations couldn’t.
“We’re very excited about our new venture,” Nick said.
“NB Department Store aims to redefine what a department store is, and create a unique attraction for Proston and our region.”
The business’s mission statement says they will also aim to be “the most social-media friendly business” in the town.
“We’re providing new splashes of information daily on our Facebook page (leading up to the opening) which has been really successful in creating a positive, exciting vibe,” Nick said.
“This has been a very enjoyable experience for our loyal customers.”
The couple also hope to encourage other entrepreneurs to invest in the town.
“We truly believe this is the year Proston can begin to make massive steps towards its reinvention to ensure its future,” Nick said.
“With many of the main street’s shops now owned by a local community group, and renovations taking place, Proston is ready to invite other entrepreneurs,” they said.
NB Department Store will hold its grand opening at 9:30am on Thursday, September 26.