East St mainstay selling after more than 45 years
ROCKHAMPTON business owner Bevan Proposch says his newsagency is probably the only one in Australia where you can buy sliced onion.
Having owned Vizes City Newsagency on East St for more than 46 years, Mr Proposch has decided it's time to sell the multi-faceted business which includes the newsagency, a food outlet and Rocky Fresh Foods.
"I have been here for over 46 years and it has been great,” he said.
"I am 73 soon and my wife Stephanie and I decided that I just can't keep going, I need to retire.
"It's not something I want to see go and it brings tears to my eyes but how long can I go for?
"We've been here for so long, we're an icon of Rocky and of East St.”
Opening his first business in Northside Plaza, The Fruit Plaza, then another called the Green Grocer, Mr Proposch opened a fruit and juice bar on East St.
Reminiscing on the years of work he has put into his businesses in Rockhampton, he remembered how popular the juice shop was.
"It was very successful,” he said.
"When we first opened we had the counter around with all the drink dispensers and we sold fruit salad and fruit juices.
"We'd sell freshly squeezed juice, I had two guys that would juice oranges, lemons, pineapples full-time when I had the three shops going and each shop had four dispensers.
"But one thing led to another, East St got busy and I sold the other two shops eventually.”
Having seen East St go through many changes over the years, Mr Proposch has been able to diversify his business as needed, which allowed him to become one of the mainstays of the CBD street.
Over the years, he, his wife, son and daughter-in-law expanded the business to include a food servery where customers can buy pies, freshly made sandwiches and drinks.
Expanding further, Mr Proposch started Rocky Fresh Foods, a food preparation business which has grown enough to take up all of Mr Proposch's time.
"If we hadn't diversified and started selling food we probably wouldn't be here,” he said.
"I started Rocky Fresh Foods because it complemented Jono's food side of the business.
"I do a lot of the food processing for around town and it has grown a lot.
"I can't chase any more business, people keep ringing me up.
"It's a great business and I've gotten a great name from doing this around the town.”
While he says the decision to sell was a hard one, whoever buys it will be buying a unique and popular Rockhampton business.
"What people would be buying is three businesses in one,” he said.
"You are buying Lotto and a newsagency, which is probably self-sufficient on its own, you are buying the food, which is very successful on its own, and then Rocky Fresh Food is another part of it which is a good business.
"It's time consuming, but the margins are great.
"It's a pretty involved little business.
"It's one one of those businesses that is a little different, but it's such a friendly business.”
Saying he loves the work he does and it keeps him very busy, Mr Proposch said he doesn't want to be slicing onions for the rest of his working life.
"Nobody wants to peel onions any more,” he said.
"It is all outsourced.
"People will ring me up to peel and slice four onions,” he quipped.