“It was my dream to open a family business. All the shelves you see here in my store are not only stocked with goods but love.” Said Jyotsna Kumar (35) a local mum and the owner of the family run business Ajijo Grocery & Convenience Store at the local Coombs shopping centre.
After opening its doors in March last year, their business has been broken into three times. The first time was in June, the second was an attempted ram raid in July and third was just last night and the thieves stole not only cash but ice creams and drinks that Ajijo just purchased within the last couple of days.
Jyotsna estimates that it will cost her business a few thousand to install new alarms, replenish the stock stolen and she won’t be able to recoup the money lost from the till. However, it’s the loss of morale and the feeling of being consistently violated whilst running a family business that is priceless and has hurt her the most.
“I won’t close my business as not only it’s my and my families absolute dream to have a shop, but also the local community needs it. There are no shops in Coombs. It hurts a lot that we are a local family and we are trying to survive financially and we keep on having these robberies. It’s sad.” Jyotsna said.
Ajijo Grocery & Convenience Store is the only business operating at the Coombs Shopping Centre. It has been widely reported that extremely high rents have discouraged any further local business owners from opening up shop in the complex.
Jyotsna believes that a lack of other businesses operating within the centre puts her business at risk as being the only shop within the suburb makes her store an easy target.
Despite these numerous setbacks, Jyotsna remains optimistic and has plans to open a small grab and go coffee counter in her store so that locals of Coombs can duck in for a quick coffee and grab a small takeaway bite to eat during the day and also busy parents doing the school run can grab a coffee to go on the way to and from work.
“There are no cafes within the area and there are parents, teachers, health practitioners, educators and people who go to the gym who have nowhere to get a coffee. We would like to change that!” Jyotsna said.
As Jyotsna’s tenancy doesn’t allow for additional piping at present to establish a proper café, she is able to operate a small machine to comply with the existing conditions of her lease until she has approval to establish a permanent one.
Canmum and Ajijo will keep you updated as to when the Ajijo Grab2Go coffee counter will be setup and we encourage you to visit Ajijo in the meantime to shop and support this local family run business in the Weston Creek/Molonglo Valley area.
For more information call Ajijo on 0413 281 331 or visit Ajijo Grocery & Convenience store at the Coombs local shopping centre, Fred Daly Avenue (cnr John Gorton Drive), Coombs.