Beatties Furniture has a long history in the business and community landscape in Nambucca. Focus caught up with Michael Beattie to find out more about the history of this family owned store and some of his insights about Nambucca.
Beatties Furniture has a long history in the Nambucca Valley. How long has the store been open?
We have been trading for 35 years. In 1983 my parents, Elizabeth and Alan Beattie, sold their wheat – sheep property at Parkes and with their family moved to Nambucca Heads to establish “Beattie’s Furniture & Manchester” with their daughter, Joanne. They always had a passion for quality furniture, and starting their own business allowed them to fulfil that passion.
Their strong values of honesty and “helping your neighbours” have come through the family owned business, where we strive to offer you professional advice and service on all of your furniture needs. They have since retired to Sapphire Beach, and now I run the business with the same passion as my parents.
What changes have happened with the business and in store since then?
The business started in the main street of Nambucca Heads in a small store, with only 140 square metres of floor space. Twelve months later with the business growing, Alan and Elizabeth doubled the size of the shop and rented a shed in the industrial estate. In 1986 they rented another shop two doors up, to increase the range of furniture shown on the floor.
A funny story often remembered is when Alan and Elizabeth passed each other with customers going from one shop to the other and sold the same lounge twice to two different customers!
During this time, they started selling curtains, which their daughter, Joanne, made. In 1988 the opportunity arose for them to buy a large block in the industrial estate and build a purpose-built shop and storage shed for retailing furniture. When I took over the business in 2008, I introduced roller blinds, venetian blinds and verticals, as I have previously worked for a blind company. Today we have over, 1200 m² of showroom and 400 m² of storage.
Beatties is a family owned and run business; how important is family and a sense of community to you?
Family is extremely important to me, and my staff are part of my “adopted family”. My good friend Christine, who runs the shop with me, and I are often mistaken for husband and wife due to our good-natured bantering and joint passion for exceeding our customers’ expectations, and our love for good quality furniture with style. Christine, who is French, has her own beautiful daughter working in London and a talented husband who is an architect and author.
We have our own delivery men, adopted brother Darren and adopted son Alan. They are both happy men and take great care when delivering furniture and will help by removing old furniture that is being replaced and assembling beds for customers free of charge.
I have a lovely wife who is an architectural draftsperson, a daughter, Laura who is a senior accountant at Moore Stephens in Coffs Harbour, a son, Jono who is a chef at Fish Tales in Sawtell and a young boy, Lachlan. All of the family has at some time been involved in the business; even my youngest can be seen on a Sunday morning showing customers through the showroom.
We try to support our surrounding community in many ways. Both my father and I have been Presidents of the Nambucca Heads and Valla Chamber of Commerce over several years, and I am still a proud member today. During my term as President, we saw trees planted in the main street of Nambucca Heads, Valla added to the chamber, a large sign for all the businesses in the industrial estate and new lights for the V-wall at Nambucca Heads.
I am also chairman of a local school board, supporting where I can. Seeing children growing and developing through good schools and passionate teachers is something I love being a part of. I am also involved in our local church, where I serve as an elder.
What have been some of the significant changes you have seen in Nambucca over the years?
One of the amazing things about Nambucca Heads is that it has not changed that much over the years. It is still a quiet seaside town with no traffic lights and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It can take me a while to go to the bank, chatting to friends and customers I meet along the way.
Our North Coast area, however, has grown dramatically around Coffs Harbour and just north of Nambucca Heads at Valla Beach. The area here is a great place to retire, with many activities, fantastic scenery and the great hub of Coffs Harbour with everything you could possibly need, including great medical facilities if required.
What is your favourite thing to do or place to go in Nambucca?
My favourite places to go in Nambucca are long walks on the beach, a spot of fishing and game of golf at the Nambucca Heads Island Golf Course.
What is the experience of a customer coming into the store?
You can expect to be surprised at the large range of quality furniture that we have on show and some of the great designs by La-z-boy and Tessa, complemented by stylish rugs and beautiful dinings. We pride ourselves on doing a different range of outdoor furniture to other retailers, made by Shelta. Have a lie down on our competitively priced mattresses by Domino and King Koil. We will even direct you to our favourite coffee shop or cafés.