Young entrepreneurs put community first
UP AND coming Proston business owners keep the community's best at the heart of what they do.
Anita and Nick Blanch own two businesses on the same street in the country town, NB Inspirations and the Jacaranda Tea Rooms.
"Every business decision has the community at the forefront,” Mrs Blanch said.
The businesses are crucial to keep the small country town alive, and encouraging more people to stay.
"We have such a nice community, you wouldn't want anything to happen to that,” she said.
The couple have recently been nominated for the Australian small business achievement awards, and were previously named in the top four for the Queensland young achievement awards.
"We feel really privileged, we haven't achieved this on our own, it's a group effort,” Mrs Blanch said.
Mr Blanch opened NB Inspirations in 2010 while he was studying his teaching degree externally.
The now 28-year-old entrepreneur saw a need in Proston, and created what is known around town as the 'Myers in the bush.'
"Nick wanted to fill the gap and help bring things to town,” Mrs Blanch said.
The department store was bringing so many people to town, and encouraging people to stop by from Boondooma Dam, the young business owners decided to open the Jacaranda Tea rooms a year and a half ago.
The 23-year-old Mrs Blanch said they decided to only sell morning and afternoon teas and light meals at the quaint tea rooms, to encourage visitors to go to the Proston Pub for their main meals.
"People really love the atmosphere of JT's,” she said.
"A lot of local people meet with their friends, and have a chat and have a coffee.”
They enjoy having the opportunity to employ Proston people, especially giving young people experience working before they finish school.
Like all businesses, times can be hard sometimes, but the Proston couple aim to look at every situation positively.
The business partners, both grew up in Proston, went to school at the Proston school, and studied at university externally before getting married in 2015.
Mr Blanch also works full time as a high school teacher in Proston, and Mrs Blanch runs the swimming club at the school in her spare time.
"We just do anything we can to help,” Mrs Blanch said.
The Proston couple are heavily involved in the community, participating in the Proston Round Table meetings, the Proston heritage sub-committee, and donate to and sponsor events such as the Proston golf club.
NB Inspirations also sponsors the Miss Showgirl competition at the Proston show, donating outfits.
There are no further business plans just yet as the young business owners settle on maintaining the two stores.
"There might be something around the corner,” Mrs Blanch said.