Gabrielle Duykers, Naracoorte Community News
Wool processing factory MiniJumbuk is planning a $500,000 expansion for its Naracoorte retail shop in an effort to attract more tourists.
The plans boast a new coffee bar, seated garden area, and a viewing platform that extends into the factory.
Marketing manager Darren Turner said the business wanted to create an “engaging” experience for visitors.
“You’ll be able to walk out into a safe environment and see manufacturing happening,” Mr Turner said.
“We want to be able to show how things are still made here in Australia.”
Mr Turner said the retail space would double in size and see the installation of an “interpretation centre”.
This will include a wool processing machine and interactive video touchscreens to give visitors further insight into the production process.
Mr Turner said the upgrade would allow visitors to conduct a “self-guided” tour of the factory.
“We get a lot of groups that want to come and do tours,” he said. “And we’ve been ﬁnding it hard to cater for them in a safe manner.”
The store currently averages about 50 customers per day, and last year saw record-high sales despite a dramatic drop in wool prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Turner said MiniJumbuk was determined to become a major drawcard for Naracoorte tourists.
“We’re the heart of the Limestone Coast, (located) right in the centre so we want to take advantage of that,” he said.
The project plans were presented to Naracoorte Lucindale Council at its August meeting, and Mr Turner sought assistance in bringing the project to fruition.
He asked that council upgrade an 80-metre stretch of footpath on Smith Street from Ofﬁce National to RM Electronics.
MiniJumbuk would fund 50 per cent of the costs associated, on the condition that works were completed by the end of the 2021/2022 ﬁnancial year.
Mr Turner also asked council to remove three plane trees on the southern side of Ormerod Street due to their ongoing damage to the MiniJumbuk building.
He said the trees’ deep roots had impacted their stormwater, sewage, and made the surrounding footpath “unsafe” to walk on.
Council resolved to remove the trees and repair the footpath later in the meeting.
Cr Ken Schulz said he supported MiniJumbuk’s plans upon conclusion of the presentation.
“I think the council should give them every help that we can,” Cr Schulz said.
“They’re bringing people to Naracoorte, they’re doing all the right things.”
Mayor Erika Vickery thanked Mr Turner for sharing the project.
“Congratulations on the future plans,” Ms Vickery said. “It certainly strengthens tourism options for people that will come and visit and give another feature for this area.”
Council are yet to commit to upgrading the Smith Street footpath.
This article appeared in Naracoorte Community News, 8 September 2021.