Saturday, January 25, 2014

Coles' 100 year centenary (by invitation) by Snooze

Writing about food allows us to visit all sorts of interesting places with the most recent an invitation to the 100th centenary launch of Coles in its recreated original and landmark store at 288 Smith Street, Collingwood. 

 A little history for those interested, and I have to say it was this that really intrigued me. The Coles empire began in this very store in 1914, when G J Coles and his brother James formed a business partnership to open Australia's first variety store. Some vital statistic for this first store: 850 items, six staff and four departments (fancy goods, drapery, crockery and ironmongery. And the takings for the first ten days: a whopping £935, 4 shillings and 1 penny. There was clearly a demand in Collingwood for a variety store.

The store was kitted out as it would have been when it first opened complete with the original cash register, uniforms worn by staff during Coles’ history, books and magazines. What I found hard to resist was a 1920s rule book for female staff members and a huge set of scales the like of which I haven't seen since I was a kid.

The event came with the cutest 1920's (and no doubt CWA) inspired morning tea hosted by Australian sporting legend Cathy Freeman. Unfortunately we didn't get to stay for long and didn't enjoy either the morning tea or meeting Cathy Freeman (both of which are still a disappointment to me). 

One of the most interesting centenary events I've attended (and thank you Coles for the invite), and I look forward to seeing what else Coles has for us during its centenary year. 

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