STORY TO TELL: Chris and Janet Calver are celebrating 25 years at Karalee News.
STORY TO TELL: Chris and Janet Calver are celebrating 25 years at Karalee News. Rob Williams

Hard slog paying off for newsagent owners

A QUARTER century of hard work is bearing fruit for newsagent owners Chris and Janet Calver.

Getting into business 25 years ago amounted to a big career change and something of a jump into the deep end for the couple, who relocated from Brisbane when they recognised Karalee as a place that would continue to grow into the future.

Their hunch turned out to be right, with their home suburb now one of the city's major growth areas of Ipswich.

Not to mention the fact that Karalee shopping village, where the pair has remained loyal since 1994, has just undergone another major facelift which is already bringing in new customers.

The couple celebrated their business's 25th anniversary on Thursday.

"Chris was a bank manager and I was a teacher at the time,” Janet recalls.

"Chris had a look around and he saw the potential here, that has slowly come to fruition over the years.”

The shopping village was a much different place in 1994, with no Woolworths supermarket, and only a small string of shops.

Chris and Janet Calver are celebrating 25 years at Karalee News. As they appeared the QT in 1994.
As the Calvers appeared the QT in 1994. Rob Williams

Woolies came along in the early 2000s and the suburb as a whole has come along in leaps and bounds ever since.

The addition of Coles and a handful of other specialty shops during last year's refurbishment and expansion has added to the foot traffic.

"Things didn't pick up immediately with the expansion but we can see it is starting to attract new customers,” Chris said.

"We have seen some people coming in from further west on the Warrego Highway..”

The Calvers worked extremely hard for the first 22 years, but more recently have employed two managers, in addition to their five other staff, to help run the show when they are taking some well earned time off.

"The first 22 years were full-on; we did everything ourselves. Now we have wonderful staff and two managers, so we get the best of both worlds,” Janet said.

"We have been rewarded in the sense that we have seen the business steadily grow. It is such a wonderful community here.”