Customers are still coming through the doors, eager to farewell to the people they have come to know when they made regular seafood purchases at Petuna’s Wellington Street store.
The store has been servicing Launceston with seafood since the early 1980s, but when the doors close at 5.30pm on Friday it will be for the last time.
Petuna’s owners Peter and Una Rockliff made the decision to shut the store months ago, but customers were told this week.
A message from the Rockliffs adorns the back wall of the store, offering a “heartfelt thank you to our wonderful staff for looking after our store and to all of our loyal customers for their patronage in the Launceston area over the years”.
Full-time staff members Terri-Anne Goodman-Jones and Julia O’Brien and casual Kristie Harkins have spent the past two days saying goodbye to their customers.
“This is our community. People come in for conversation as much as the fish,” Ms O’Brien, who has worked at Petuna’s Launceston store for three years, said.
Ms O’Brien and Ms Harkins will be looking for customer service work in the coming weeks, while Ms Goodman-Jones has found a new role at Kyeema Seafoods, after almost seven years with Petuna.
“Petuna have been great to me. I’ve learned so much because I’ve had great people teaching me,” Ms Goodman-Jones said.
Petuna Seafoods & Gourmet Pantry manager Sallyann Sims, who is also Peter and Una Rockliff’s daughter, said when the Wellington Street building was sold the company decided to focus on its wholesale offering in Launceston.
“It was a big decision made with mixed emotions as the retail outlets have been Peter and Una’s babies,” Ms Sims said.
Petuna products will still be sold at Launceston supermarkets and seafood outlets, and Petuna’s East Devonport store remains open.
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