Bringing back the community spirit at IGA Bowden

Since November 2022, husband and wife duo Grant and Monique Luccon have been working hard at IGA Bowden to ensure that community is the focus of our local grocery store.

The young and enthusiastic couple is so passionate about their new endeavour that it seems to be radiating from them. It’s hard not to be excited simply having a conversation with them, which they’re always keen to do. Who knew fruit and veg could be so interesting? 

It’s through these chats with neighbours and visitors that they’ve been resupplying and restocking the store with the exact products and ingredients locals are looking for. For example, after a quick conversation with local Kellie, who is coeliac, they began stocking her preferred gluten free bread at the store full-time.

Excellent customer service isn’t new to Grant, who has worked in supermarkets across the state for the past 18 years. Monique, however, has a background in national corporate HR and industrial relations, positioning her perfectly to manage staff and more back of house operations. Together, their skills are helping the IGA thrive.

Though they spent some time searching for a supermarket to purchase, nothing seemed to be the right fit. “We wanted somewhere with a community feel,” says Monique. “A lot of places in the city, unfortunately, just aren’t like that. But seeing that around here, it was just a done deal for us.” They say what they hadn’t realised, was the extent of just how much community focus there would be here in Bowden. 

“Sometimes, if the locals upstairs in the penthouses are all getting together and having drinks, they invite us up there for wine. They do things like that around here. It’s fantastic.” While the pair don’t yet live within the area, they say it’s definitely the next big move on the cards for them.

This community spirit is something they want to ensure is a focus of the supermarket, too, to make the experience of everyone coming to an IGA about supporting the community it sits within. Beyond just stocking the shelves with products the locals love, they’re focused on giving back. Grant and Monique are doing this in a variety of ways, including donating products in kind to local community groups, such as the Bowden Community Garden and UCWB Bowden’s recent pancake day event. When customers purchase products from the ‘Community Co.’ range, proceeds go into a community chest, which is presented to a different charity each year. Last year, the funds raised were given to the MS Society, with this year’s going to Catherine House. They’re also in the process of creating a ‘pay it forward’ system for locals to purchase a freshly made sandwich or coffee for those less fortunate in the surrounding area.

Speaking of fresh sandwiches, plenty of fresh produce is being made onsite for locals to snap up. The bakery section is baking breads, cakes, pastries, pizzas and treats for a quick and convenient lunch every day. And with their large sandwiches coming in at just $6, there are few places that can say they make a lunch fresher or more affordable. When dinner time rolls around, there’s freshly cooked (all free range) hot chickens or the new option of roast pork available for folks to pop in and pick up. Perfect for lazy summer nights. If it’s catering you need, they can do that too; simply swing by and discuss what you’re looking for.

It’s clear they’re driven to make Bowden IGA as local as possible. They have around 25 staff working at the store, many of whom live only a few streets away. While on the shelves, they’re working hard to support SA producers wherever possible, continuously building their suppliers list with South Australian produce.

To keep up to date with all the amazing and ever-changing offers at IGA Bowden, you’ll find Grant and Monique posting within many of the local Facebook Groups, or you can follow them on social media, too. Those who do follow along are privy to plenty of raffles giving away some excellent produce and prizes.

“We love that we’re very embedded into the community now… we wanted somewhere with a true community feel”, Grant agrees that they’ve found that special connection with Bowden. 

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