by Vanessa Jarrett
IN THE past few weeks, Biloela has been lucky enough to have two new businesses open up in town.
One is the Saloon Protein Bar.
Owner Trent Morris said the business had been open for five weeks and he was already overwhelmed by the response from the local community.
"It has been flat out,” Trent said.
"The response out here has been fantastic.
"Everyone is into their health and fitness out here, but they haven't really had anyone to talk to about it.”
The store stocks protein and fitness-related products, but Trent said the store offered more than just the products.
"We do meal plans and stuff like that,” he said.
"We look after all the sports-specific proteins, energy drinks, but we cater for general health and we make all our own proteins at a factory.”
There is also an industrial-style bar where Trent offers a menu of takeaway protein shakes and amino drinks.
"I can also give a taste of products here so you can taste before you buy and you don't go home and don't like the taste of it,” he said.
The store offers products for fitness fans but also for other avenues of health.
"It's not just for those who go the gym, we cater for everyone,” Trent said.
"We work with naturopaths as well for hormones, gut health and all that sort of stuff.”
Walking into some supplement and nutrition stores can be overwhelming as there are many brands that do different things and work for various body types.
"The way we have decked out our store it isn't intimidating,” Trent said.
"We keep it simple because simple works - stop the confusion and say no you only need these things.
"Body building, losing weight, gaining weight can be a complicated industry, but it doesn't have to be.”
The Biloela store is the second for Trent's business, joining one in Gladstone.
"Everyone said 'why Biloela?' and I said 'why not?',” he said.
"Small towns miss out on a lot, they have to go on the internet to find out things.”
Trent said getting into regional areas was always a goal for his business.
"We want to look after the regional areas so everyone can get advice on nutrition,” he said.
The Gladstone store has been operating for three and a half years and Trent has a big vision for the future.
"We want to be all around Australia,” he said.
At this stage, Trent is focusing on getting the Biloela store up and running, even though most of the work has done itself.
"Most people that come in have come back, so we are getting those return customers,” he said.
"I'm here for the long haul. We have a vision of how we see the business and opening up a business and closing it isn't it.”
On the retail side of things, CTM Western Wear has opened in Biloela Shoppingworld.
Store owner Tracy Muller said her business was going exceptionally well.
"We have been open for six weeks now and it's been good,” she said.
"We travel to campdrafts as well. We have been to Camboon, Jambin, Theodore and we are going to a barrel race in Biloela, so we have been getting our name out there.”
Customers have been coming from far and wide to browse and buy.
"We have had lots of out-of-towners,” Tracy said.
"And some people don't even know we are here.”
While there are other businesses in town that stock western wear, Tracy said her business stocked what those stores didn't.
"It's different to what you can get in town,” Tracy said.
"Different brands of bling jeans, one-of-a-kind western arena shirts, boho country style, cowhide products, town clothes, country clothes.
"Before we opened I did a lot of research on what was being sold in town.The community has been great and the response has been really positive,” she said.
Some customers have suggested products they would like to see, which Tracy is taking on board.
"We are getting boots in, but we aren't stocking the brands the other locals have,” she said.
"Someone asked me about skirts the other day and it hadn't even crossed my radar but I have since looked into it.
We are still learning what people like.”
While some may argue business is dead in Biloela, Tracy is confident.
"I feel pretty optimistic about the future - some of our products are just flying out the door,” she said.
She's also feeling good about the shopping centre development.
" I think it will be good for the community.”