Newsagency owners take on a new outlook
In the tradition of Humans of New York, the NewsMail's Faces of Bundy series tells the stories of familiar - and some unfamiliar - residents in the Bundaberg region.
Michael and Lyn Bowles are celebrating their one year birthday as owners of McCrackens Newsagency in the CBD on Saturday.
The couple spoke about the love they have for their loyal customers and the changes being made to the store.
Lyn: We first decided to buy McCrackens because it was up for sale and I didn't have a teaching job to go to the next year and Michael had just finished working out west where there was no other work around.
We didn't want him to have to go out of town again since he had already been away for seven years.
Michael: I had been working in the mines and had enough of it, needed a lifestyle change and wanted to be with my family.
We decided to do something together and involve everyone.
Our children come in and help us. Even our ten year old gets behind the counter, she dominates.
Lyn: We have never owned a news agency before. It has been a very big learning curve but we have loved every moment of it.
Michael: Meeting the people has been one of the highlights of this job. Hearing their stories and just getting to know the locals has been great.
Lyn: I think we actually have the best customers in town to be honest with you. They come in and bring a smile to our faces and leave with a smile on their faces.
We get invited to our customers barbecues and we are brought into their lives. Our customers are like out extended family.
Michael: But there has also been tears on both sides of the counter. If one of customers or one of our customers' partners passes away,that affects us because we have gotten to know them and their family so well. It hits a rough spot.
Lyn: I think we have a great rapport with our customers because we both just love people.
We are very down to earth and really enjoying talking to people.
Michael: Just don't get me started on fishing (laughs).
Lyn: We are celebrating our one year birthday next Saturday and in the lead up to this, we have made quite a few changes to the store.
We decided to do some renovations including moving the counter around and now we are trying to put the shop back together.
Michael: We have also decided to change the business name to Winners Nest.
Lyn: The reason we have changed the name is because McCrackens haven't owned the business for the last century.
We thought it needed a change and is our way to let people know we are new, we are doing different things and we want people to come in and enjoy in that experience with us.