Met Max and Julie Jeffery, Brewarrina’s 'Friendly Grocer'

The "Friendly Grocer", Max Jeffery, who with his wife, Julie, has been owned the local supermarket for the past two years.
The "Friendly Grocer", Max Jeffery, who with his wife, Julie, has been owned the local supermarket for the past two years.

The close-knit community of Brewarrina in NSW enjoyed some decent rain recently which lifted morale. The Land is emphasising some "good news" stories from the town and district throughout this week. 

Brewarrina Friendly Grocer employees, Bianca Schneider, Danielle Tattersall, Tod Pritchard, Alysha Mitchell and co-owner Julie Jeffery

Brewarrina Friendly Grocer employees, Bianca Schneider, Danielle Tattersall, Tod Pritchard, Alysha Mitchell and co-owner Julie Jeffery

MOST people when given the chance to sell out and make a dash for the city lights would jump on the opportunity, but not Max and Julie Jeffery.

Having retired from working and managing cotton farms, Mr Jeffery, who owns “Brewarrina Friendly Grocer” with his wife Julie, could have sold out but chose to stick around for the close knit community that Brewarrina is.

“It’s a good town with good people,” Mr Jeffery said.

Both hail from Bourke and made the trek to Brewarrina close to 22 years ago.

“I grew up on a sheep and cattle property just out of Bourke,” he said.

“I first started managing cotton farms near Bourke before I got a manager’s job on a cotton farm here in Brewarrina. Julie ran the coffee shop in town while I managed the cotton farm.”

And after 30 years of cotton farming Mr Jeffery decided it was time for a change.

“I retired from farming. And after about six months off I was sick of sitting around. That was when we bought the grocer.”

Supporting the community of Brewarrina, the grocer sponsors the local football and cricket clubs, and the Brewarrina Rodeo.

Taking part in the “four new kids on the block”, Mr Jeffery saw it as a great opportunity to give back to the farming community who have tirelessly supported his local business.

“The farmers look after us here in town. They shop at our shops.”

Having managed a farm himself, Mr Jeffery is well aware of the tough conditions of working a property.

“It has been a drought for a while now and everyone has been so busy.

“No one takes a day off; farmers are always doing something, from carting and feeding. They are long days working on the farm.”

Banding together, Max and his fellow “kids on the block” decided to do something about the drought and lighten everyone’s spirits in what is a difficult time for most.

The group saw it as a good opportunity to get together and organise events for the entire community.

“About a month or two ago we thought it would be good to have something to look forward to and that’s when we came up with the idea to have a men’s and ladies’ day,” he said.

“We have organised a fishing day for the men where they can have a BBQ and beer on the creek.”

A day that is more loosely referred to as a ‘Nag-free men’s day’.

“It’ll be a great opportunity to have a yarn, a beer and relax. We want to get the farmers together and make sure they’re okay.”

The name of the supermarket says it all - friendly by name, friendly by character.