ALEXANDRA Hills IGA X-press owner Dan Rigney is the face of the supermarket group’s initiative to support the Great Aussie Local.
Mr Rigney’s story will be shown on television, at cinemas and online as part of the national campaign.
The store owner made headlines in 2016 after using a homemade flamethrower – from a can of fly spray and a lighter – to try and scare away armed robbers wearing balaclavas who tried to hold up the store.
Talking about memorable moments as a store owner more than two years later, Mr Rigney said the incident held emotional memories for him.
“Not the armed holdup itself, but the amount of support we received from our local community for a considerable time after the event,” Mr Rigney said.
“I still feel overwhelmed even today thinking about just how much support we received and I will always be incredibly grateful for that.”
Mr Rigney was chosen by Independent Grocers of Australia out of 1400 store owners.
In a video Mr Rigney shares a heart-warming story about four locals meeting at his Alex Hills store every morning.
Mr Rigney and his wife Jacki bought the business after selling the IGA X-press in Upper Mount Gravatt.
The couple met each other in grade 12 and have stayed in Alexandra Hills ever since.
In the video, Mr Rigney reflects on how his family shaped him and why looking after his local community is important.
Among his other memorable moments was winning the best IGA X-press in Australia twice.
“Receiving a certificate of appreciation at any time is also rewarding,” Mr Rigney said.
The couple offer space for local clubs and groups to fundraise, hold Dollar Coffee days where they donate $1 from every coffee sold to cause and donate 10 cents to a local school for every 2 litre of Dairy Farmers milk sold.
Chief executive officer of supermarkets and convenience at Metcash Scott Marshall said local grocers, like Dan Rigney, were at the heart of soul of communities.
“For too long they’ve been our silent heroes, working in the background to do everything they can for their local area, including tailoring their product offering to their local catchments, supporting local farmers and suppliers and giving back to countless local sporting clubs, schools and charities,” Mr Marshall said.
“Now is the time to tell their stories.
“IGA’s initiative will shine a spotlight on Australia’s unique and incredibly generous store owners and their stories to encourage the public to back them.”
Mr Rigney said they enjoyed their work and being part of the IGA network, and had become lifelong friends with many retailing peers.
“The best part about being a local store owner is being in a position to give back and help out the local community where possible,” Mr Rigney said.
“Getting to know our locals and their families. A lot of these have become close personal friends.”
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