Cash no longer king for Kaku­las

Western Suburbs Weekly - - FOOD - By CAITIN TILLER

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.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d448240

Evan Kaku­las is proud of the legacy of the busi­ness started by his fore­bears.

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