2 May 2023

'Foot traffic can be non-existent': Stripey Sundae becomes the latest business to shut up shop at Gold Creek Village

| James Coleman
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Stripey Sundae owner Glen Takkenberg announced plans to sell the Gold Creek Village store in February 2023. Photo: Stripey Sundae.

Gold Creek Village will fall even quieter in the coming weeks as ice creamery Stripey Sundae closes its doors for the last time.

Owner Glen Takkenberg took over the small store in the boutique shopping precinct from the previous owners in 2016 but flagged plans to sell earlier this year.

“I’m asking for $45,000, including all equipment, recipes and stock on hand,” he posted to social media.

“I’ll provide training on how to use my equipment and make my recipes during a handover transition.”

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Having received no interest since then, plans are underway to wind up operations and clear the premises by the end of May. Two casual staff members will be let go.

The primary reason is family.

“It’s just the amount of time it takes to run a small business,” he says.

Early visitors to the store will remember how Glen used to bring his boys in when they were young and could nap in the pram, but “now the boys are getting bigger, and they need me to spend less time working on weekends and being more available to take a holiday”.

“I’ve enjoyed making ice cream for Canberra for the past seven years – and may well return to it in some way in the future – but for now, I’m looking forward to spending weekends with my boys for the first time.”

man holding an ice cream cone

Stripey Sundae owner Glen Takkenberg. Photo: Stripey Sundae.

Then there’s profit. Over the past seven years, Glen says business has “plateaued”.

“I’ll be honest, financially, the business doesn’t do amazing,” Glen says.

“I’m lucky to make minimum wage on average in return for working six to seven days a week. But if you’ve got the business savvy, time and drive, there’s potential here to grow the business.”

Several businesses have wound up in Gold Creek Village in recent years, including café and tea store Adore Tea and Canberra Chilli and Hot Sauces Store, which only lasted long enough to host the inaugural Canberra Chilli Festival in 2021. Stripey Sundae is the only tenant left on its block, and Glen says it won’t be the last in the area to close.

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“I’ve talked to a couple of business owners here and they’re thinking of wrapping up as well.”

Glen says the problem stems from Gold Creek Village not being a spot locals “tend to think about”. He cites the Chilli Festival as the “last time there was an outdoor event with plenty of people coming and going”.

“A lot of businesses have come and gone from Gold Creek [Village] over the years, just because foot traffic can be non-existent at times, and then weekends are random and can be good or bad.”

He says Stripey Sundae really needs to move out of “a very difficult spot” to get traction again.

“I considered moving it, but that would mean more time spent in the business and less time with family.”

Stripey Sundae

Stripey Sundaes offers many allergy-friendly and vegan ice creams. Photo: Stripey Sundae.

The news has been met with sadness by the community, many of whom have grown to love Glen and his wife and kids, as well as the tasty ice cream flavours (many with allergy-friendly and vegan options too).

“There’s a lot of disappointment, but also understanding of where I’m at.”

Glen plans to continue trading for a few weeks and then return to his previous job as an IT professional. But he’s not leaving the ice cream machines behind.

“I’ll hold on to some of it and might run something like an ice cream truck in a year or two, when I want to, instead of 365 days of the year.”

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Coming in from Yass in the highway one would not even know there’s a Maccas ,KFC ,servo let alone all the other shops in the area .The area is supposed to be ‘touristy’ but is stymied by being hidden in true Canberra style, and largely ignored by the travellers and locals. Build a Roadhouse or something with a 15m high statue of a public servant complete with neck lanyard and call it the big pube. The logic works in Goulburn and elsewhere.

Sadly if you’re only making minimum wage what other choice is there? That’s why no one wanted to buy it. Time to join the public service and enjoy above minimum wages, lots of personal and annual leave plus 15.4% super. And did I mention no headaches of running a business.

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