North Stores is a collaboration between long-time best friends and business partners Brenda Fawdon and Sonja Drexler.
They searched high and low for a suitable site, and eventually purchased a pizza wedge-shaped block of vacant land on the picturesque main street of North Tamborine, a short walk from the eucalypt forests and rainforests of the Tamborine National Park. They now had the land, but they needed to fund the build.
Determined to find a way and the means, and in response to a community need for locally sourced, fresh and organically grown fruit and veg, they established another small business – Real Food Farm Gate. Each Thursday, they’d drive from dawn till dusk around the wider local region sourcing quality produce, which they’d then take to the weekly farmers’ markets on Tamborine Mountain and the Gold Coast. They worked doggedly and built the business over a couple of years, championing the region’s growers, and meanwhile saving the resources to invest in their vision.
They met every setback and challenge (and there were quite a few) with the same courage and tenacity they bring to all their undertakings, and finally had the reserves to build the first stage of North Stores – an environmentally sustainable and architecturally designed food, art and nature hub in the heart of Tamborine Mountain.
Stage 1 of the North Stores development houses a thoughtfully curated group of shops and spaces, including Picnic Real Food Bar, and art and ceramics studios.
Stage 2 of the North Stores development is co-funded by Brenda and Sonja with the Queensland Government through the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund 2020–21. The grant, for which Sonja and Brenda successfully applied in 2020, has expedited and made possible the build of the second stage of development. This stage includes a purpose-built workshop and event space, due for completion late 2021.
Brenda and Sonja put heart and soul into creating North Stores. No strangers to hard work, they were willing to do whatever it took to see their shared dream come to fruition. Their story is one of vision, perseverance, and, above all, the power of enduring friendship.