Still reeling from dipping into their pockets to buy back the village church from the Anglican Church, Federal residents are now looking at travelling considerably further for their groceries, petrol and mail.
The Federal Store closed on Tuesday, with nothing but a note on the door to mark its passing. The bottle shop and café are also closed.
Echonetdaily understands the owner, Philomena Carr, is retiring because of age and ill health. Her sons, who were helping run the business, have moved on.
Mrs Carr told Echonetdaily she did not wish to comment on the closure.
The community icon had been for sale for some time through Elders Bangalow as a going concern. The freehold now stands to be auctioned on Wednesday 28 March at Elders auction rooms in Bangalow, unless it is sold beforehand.
Greg Price from Elders Bangalow described it as ‘an original timber structure’. ‘I think it will be there well after I’ve gone,’ he said.
‘It would just need to be restocked to be up and running again. The sale would include the café, bottle shop and the adjacent second-hand furniture outlet, formerly a car repair workshop.’
There may yet be a white knight on the horizon. A Melbourne doctor and businessman, Simon Rose, told Echonetdaily he has been negotiating with the owners.
‘My interest was to set up a community-based general store and one of my children was interested in running the restaurant. My vision is to make it really community oriented, with lots of local produce. I really like what it looks like. It’s an adventure for me and an expansion of what I normally do,’ he said.
‘I have a brilliant local person lined up to run it, who would be roundly loved,’ he added.
Mr Rose said he made an offer to buy the business a month ago that was rejected. He has since put in an offer to rent it for 12 months with an option to buy, which Echonetdaily understands is under consideration.