Long way from the sea

The new owners of the Ulong General Store, Carol and Steve Cleary.
The new owners of the Ulong General Store, Carol and Steve Cleary. Rob Wright

THEY are a long way from the surf, but they are loving the mountain air.

Carol and Steve Cleary, well known along the Coffs Coast as the former owners of North Wall Surf, have taken over the general store and post office in the tiny village of Ulong.

A one-family commercial centre for the village, with its seven-days-a-week general store and takeaway, the Clearys took over ‘Mrs Easy’s Store’ at the start of this financial year and are providing everything from stamps, Centrelink and Medicare agency services to tasty ‘mountain melts’ and cappuccinos.

“I’m the postmistress and it’s a lot of fun,” Carol Cleary said.

It has been a tree-change from their last jobs, managing a busy supermarket cum general store on Thursday Island, Sea Hop Trading, for an owner who is a retired pearl diver.

Steve and Carol, who took a holiday from business after selling North Wall Surf, and then moved north, have settled right into the mountain community. Their move was the result of a chance encounter, when Steve called in to the shop on another errand and found the business was for sale.

Carol and Steve are already planning an internet cafe as the next part of their venture, as the shop’s expanded services are proving popular with locals.

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