HOME COMFORTS: Diana Love from Ipswich home and kitchenware retailer Gemutlich.
HOME COMFORTS: Diana Love from Ipswich home and kitchenware retailer Gemutlich. Rob Williams

City retailer's cozy outlook

THE Top of Town in Ipswich is home to Gemutlich, a home and kitchenware store ideal for gifts or sprucing up your own place.

As an independent retailer, the product range is chosen to meet the customer's needs.

Diana Love and Jim McKee co-own Gemutlich, which has been operating for 10 years.

Ellenborough House is home for the business at 126 Brisbane Street.

"My aim is to get things that people are after," Ms Love said.

"We have a range of eco-friendly products. Bees wax products, shopping bags, non-plastic utensils and products like keep cups and others seen on ABC TV's War on Waste, there is a lot more of these products in store."

A wander through the store will give you a sense of the range.

From Lirah balsamic vinegars, chocolates and biscuits to kitchen utensils, pans, pots through to aprons, books and fun games and toys.

According to Ms Love, the business has a strong base of repeat customers and those on the hunt for a gift or kitchen product for home.

"Our toy product range changes around all of the time," she said.

"We do have some lovely, enviro-friendly products, some that use vegetable ink.

"There are educational toys, rattles, puzzles, and fun products. The ever popular melamine drink and foodware are available."

Co-owner Mr McKee, former owner of Cactus Café, has returned to his first love, that of woodwork.

"Jim holds a Masters in furniture design from the University of Tasmania, and he has a range of his products on sale," Ms Love said.

"There are cutting boards, magnetic knife racks, coat racks and coffee tables. These are all made locally in his home-based workshop."

Local artists also provide some stunning tea towels and totes. These are good quality linen, and all hand printed.

To keep the range fresh and up to date, Ms Love and Mr McKee travel to Melbourne for a five-day shopping trip.

This is all about wandering through a massive trade fair to see first hand the products available.

"It takes just about the five days to see it all. We see our regular suppliers but it gives us a look at new product and ideas. We tend to work with our select suppliers because we are confident of the quality and reliability," Ms Love said.

Gemutlich is the German word for cozy.

That is exactly what this stylish and warm store brings. The window displays are eye catching in the former home of the Queensland Times, corner of Ellenborough and Brisbane Streets. Shopping local and accessing independent retailers gives the consumer choice, which will only grow if shoppers chose to check these out.