Cash no longer king for Kakulas
AFTER 87 years, ethnic grocery store Kakulas Brothers is moving with the times and breaking its cash-only tradition.
The continental, gourmet and health food store, which has become a Northbridge institution, recently introduced electronic payment facilities.
Evan Kakulas said the three founding brothers Stavros, George and Michael, (affectionately known as Uncle Mick), started the business after emigrating from Greece in the 1920s.
Mr Kakulas said he and George Kakulas Jnr took up the family business in 1990 after their fathers Stavros and George retired at 92 and 98.
“In 1990, George and I came into the business and we’ve operated it since then,” he said,
“We expanded in 1992 and 1998 (the store was one-fifth the size of what it is now) and we’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go here.”
A push towards electronic payments meant the “traditional and conservative” store needed to “move with the times”.
“We’ve bowed to customer pressure; cash only and things like cheques are becoming obsolete,” he said. “It’s the way everything is going now.” Mr Kakulas said the demographic had changed from mostly Greek, Italian and then Yugoslavian customers in the 1960s to attract a broad range of customers, including health-conscious shoppers in recent years.
“We’ve moved more towards health lines now but some of our customers have been shopping here for decades.
“I don’t know who’ll take over but we will keep it in the family whether it’s our first cousins or their children.
“We’re going to keep the Kakulas name and follow the philosophy, legacy and old values of the three brothers.”
Evan Kakulas is proud of the legacy of the business started by his forebears.