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Deli turns mini-mart for South

Friday, 9th May, 2014

Pepe’s Milk Bar’s Vicki Staker (left) and Manager Talika Lewis have been busier than ever since the South Coles’ store closed three weeks ago. Pepe’s Milk Bar’s Vicki Staker (left) and Manager Talika Lewis have been busier than ever since the South Coles’ store closed three weeks ago.

By Erica Visser

South residents are grieving the loss of their only supermarket, but a Patton Street deli has made moves to fill the hole left by the closure.

Since the South Coles supermarket shut three weeks ago, Pepe’s Milk Bar has branched out to sell fresh produce, including vegetables and meat, which is delivered by Top End Meats regularly.

Manager Talika Lewis said that the business was just “trying to do our part” to help out elderly and young customers who did not have a car.

Pepe’s was the subject of online complaint yesterday when a customer claimed on Facebook that she had paid $7.20 for a loaf of bread.

But Ms Lewis said the claim was simply not true and, in fact, Pepe’s was now stocking cheaper bread than ever.

“As soon as we heard Coles was closing, we rang and got cheaper milk and cheaper bread in,” she said.

“Now you can get bread for $3.50 and our milk has dropped by a dollar, too.

“None of our products have gone up in price since Coles closed.”

Ms Lewis said that it was an obvious move to increase the shops range of products.

“I’m a Southie, so I understand. We’ve got to get our staples somewhere,” she said.

“We’ve increased our grocery line by at least 50 per cent. We’ve been a fair bit busier here over the past weeks.”

Ms Lewis said it was a rewarding feeling to help out her fellow Southies.

“No one is happy about the supermarket closure. We’re just trying to cater for more people.

“The other day I ordered in a leg of roast lamb for one lady. We’re happy to get anything anyone wants into the store if they ask us.

“Most of us who work here are Southies.”

Coles is running extra bus services to its new Broken Hill Village over the hill but some residents have complained that carting groceries on a bus is inconvenient.

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