Will corner stores soon be a thing of the past?
THE recent closure of the Somerset Dam General Store has left many people wondering if corner stores are a thing of the past.
The Queensland Times has been tracking down the most-loved and supported "corner stores" across Ipswich to highlight these small, independent businesses.
Rebekah McCrindle, co-owner of The Old Miners Diner on Brisbane Road, has run the store for nine years and says it's hard to compete with big business.
"In the UK there's no small businesses; the major companies own everything, even small takeaway shops - I think that's where Australia is heading," she said.
"It's hard because you don't have the support of a big business behind you."
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Mrs McCrindle said her shop's highway location, long opening hours and recent infrastructure in the surrounding areas has helped the diner thrive.
"We're open from 5am to 8pm every day; you have to be open because not many people work nine to five anymore," she said.
"We have a lot of regulars. You get to know people over the years ... we're like the local bar, people come in and tell us about all their issues.
"It's that rapport you get with your customers that I love."
Mrs McCrindle describes working at the diner as "crazy" but she loves owning a local business.
"We do such a wide variety, you have to give customers what they want. People are very demanding and, if it's not good quality, they won't come back," she said.
Diner regular Gene Waterman worked as a chef for five years and said the quality of the food at the takeaway shop was what stood out.
"They're always friendly and happy to help you here," he said.
"At the end of the day I try to get behind any little business rather than large supermarkets.
"The ladies here do it better than anyone else."
The Old Miners Diner is located at 15 Brisbane Road, Ebbw Vale, and is open seven days a week.