Big Shell owners Tim and Pauline Kenway have put their Tewantin business on the market after 16 years.
Big Shell owners Tim and Pauline Kenway have put their Tewantin business on the market after 16 years. Alan Lander

Moving on, but they're not to leave an empty shell

IT'S one of Queensland's 'Bigs'.

And one of the oldest. But actually it's not really that big.

Tewantin's Big Shell is a pretty shop on a leafy street in Old Tewantin, with a biggish shell carving out front.

And the owners and operators Pauline and Tim Kenway are now putting the business, with its residence in the back, on the market.

"We're offering it as a going concern,” Tim Kenway said.

"Basically, it's a business/residence.”

The Big Shell has operated as a retail venue for 50-60 years,” Mr Kenway said.

"It's been a very long time; we bought it in 2002, so we've been here 16 years.

"When we came into the business it was pretty much on its knees; I'm not saying it's standing tall but it's much better.

"It's not a lot of money - but a lot of fun.”

Apart from the sale of shells, the Kenways have retro fishing and surfing gear and a host of unique wares, many on consignment.

"We dress the shop with ephemera,” Mr Kenway said.

It's a serene environment, redolent of more peaceful times in a bygone era, but on a school holiday Friday morning there are quite a few families dropping in to buy wares, or grab a coffee from the Kenways' espresso machine.

"Yes, it's one of the 'Bigs'; it's the nightmare of parents taking the kids around all the 'big' items,” Mr Kenway quipped.

"But it's old school, not digitalised.”

"People three streets away don't know we're here, but others bring their kids, after they were here themselves as kids many years ago,” Mr Kenway said.

"The House of Bottles used to be just down the road, too, but it's long gone.”

Mrs Kenway said the couple had "had a lot of fun here over the years here”.

"We've met some wonderful people, some who come here every year.

"Kids who came here when they were little are now big.”

Mr Kenway, who also works as a real estate agent for Century 21, is also the agent for the sale.

Interested parties can contact him on 53026263.



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