11 November 2022

The best of what the region has to offer is all in one place at The Wagga Shop

| Chris Roe
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woman in store

Visitor Services Operations Officer Sarah Myers at The Wagga Shop is helping out with original ideas for Christmas. Photo: Chris Roe.

Coming up with fresh and original gift ideas can be a challenge as we head into the festive season, but fortunately, The Wagga Shop is set to offer a local solution.

Sarah Myers has worked with the Wagga Visitor Information Centre for over two decades and says there has been a big shift in their focus in the past few years.

“Back then visitor servicing was a little bit different and we focussed more on handing out information and that sort of thing,” she says.

“We always had a bit of a shop here but it was very touristy type souvenirs and a lot different to what we have now.”

READ ALSO Wagga’s ‘Pop Up Shop’ is all about supporting locals this Christmas

With so much information now available online, the team began exploring new ways to engage.

As interest in local products increased and more suppliers emerged, the centre transformed from an information source to a focal point for an ever-expanding range of local goods.

“We had started out with a local olive oil and then Junee Liquorice started and we were stocking little bits and pieces,” she explains.

“About six years ago we did our own branding and launched The Wagga Shop just to give it a bit of an identity.”

Sarah says the shop has enabled them to take local tourism in a new and exciting direction that gives visitors a chance to sample the best of what the region has to offer and for locals to share with friends and family.

“Local produce hampers have really taken off and we’ve also got quite a few corporate customers who are buying them throughout the year to give to clients,” she says.

“We meet people who are here for a conference and they’re taking a little bit of Wagga back to Sydney and Melbourne and hopefully then they’re gonna order those products again, or they might return as a tourist.

“So we find it goes further than just providing them with some very delicious products.”

woman in store

The Wagga Shop is promoting a range of bespoke ‘collabs’ in time for Christmas. Photo: Chris Roe.

The range is broad and eclectic with everything from foods, wines and spirits to soaps, teapots and Aboriginal artefacts.

The Wagga Shop has also begun collaborating with some of the leading local brands to feature a bespoke range.

READ ALSO Five minutes with Ben Di Rosa, Zecca Handmade Italian Griffith

“So these are what we call our ‘collabs’ and they are unique products that these producers have put together specifically to showcase the local region,” she says, indicating the table display in the centre of the room.

“So this is a Riverina Pistachio Bush Dukkah from Food I Am using local pistachios and some Indigenous flavours as well like wattle seeds.

“The idea is that we’ll have one to two products to launch per month for the next 12 months, so stay tuned, there’ll be lots of other exciting products in the pipeline.”

Sarah is hoping to see Wagga get behind local producers this Christmas.

“At Christmas time it’s great. You can park just out there, you don’t have to fight the crowds down at the shopping centre and there’s all these local businesses represented in one place!”

So if you’re looking for something different and original this festive season, check out The Wagga Shop in the Visitor Information Centre on Tarcutta Street or visit the website here.

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