With school holidays underway, increased visitation will see more retail spending in the Douglas Shire. Today, Natalie chats all things sweet with Alison from ‘With Sugar’ – what inspires her, the local and visitor experience, and her love of old-fashioned retail service that she has brought to Macrossan Street.
What was the inspiration behind opening ‘With Sugar’ in Port Douglas?
My husband and I came here on an extended break from our Tasmanian store seven years ago. We had been looking at moving for some time, but just hadn’t found that ‘spot’. At that time, ‘The Little Larder’ was next door to the then-vacant store, and it soon became clear the daydream was about to become a reality. Returning home, selling up and planning the new store was absolutely the best!
What does ‘With Sugar’ offer locals and visitors as part of their retail experience?
Some people love shopping. Some people don’t. We like to help with whatever each customer needs – whether it’s some ideas for a hard-to-buy-for friend, or just a comfortable environment to have a wander around. It’s a small store, but ever-evolving stock ensures fresh and interesting shopping! We are happy to organise gifts from afar, and we deliver locally and to Cairns regularly.
Your gift-wrapping service is a godsend to busy people – what inspired you to offer it?
I have always been interested in old-fashioned retail – from the fascinating history of the first department stores to everyday goings-on in the local corner store – which is always about more than just the product purchase.
As much as life is changing, certain themes remain the same – convenience, service, the full experience. Gift wrapping is literally the finishing touch to that. We all adore giving gifts a special touch and love seeing a customer walk out happy and organised! (We get way too excited about new wrapping paper!)
Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of?
I’d have to say, my husband Matt and I building our businesses together as a team. He is my logic, my left brain, and has my back 100%. Also, our work family – I’m thankful for them every single day. They are gold.
Coming out of COVID-19, what do you think will attract visitors to ‘With Sugar’ and the village of Port Douglas?
Port Douglas will always be Port Douglas – spectacular, warm, and nurturing to the soul.
You can easily find yourself forgetting about the madness of the world outside. You can always find someone to talk to or your own quiet place. Whatever you need.
You can find ‘With Sugar’ at Reef Anchor House, 40 Macrossan Street, Port Douglas daily between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm, give Alison a call on 0448 328 614 or follow them on FACEBOOK