Happy birthday and thank you, Steve

Happy birthday and thank you, Steve

With much loved local identity, Steve Price, celebrating his 60th birthday yesterday, we look back on the positive impact he and his family have had on the Orbost community.

Formerly from South Gippsland, Steve Price and his wife, Karen, moved to Orbost so Steve could pursue a management role within Permewans supermarket in 1983.

Three years after arriving to town and just one month before the pending arrival of their first child, the couple took over as owners of the then Permewans/Payless Supermarket located in Nicholson Street, Orbost, where the One Stop Discount Shop now stands.

Over the next 12 years the store changed names and started trading as Orbost Rite-way. Steve and Karen went on to extend their family adding four boys - Travis, Ashley, Jayden and Brandon - all having held management roles in some capacity in more recent years.

The young family completed some minor renovations to the Nicholson Street store that continued to grow for the benefit of its customers and the local community.

On June 23, 1998, a devastating fire ripped through the Price’s store. All stock was lost along with most of the equipment. The supermarket was forced to close its doors.

Determined not to be beaten by such a horrible event, and with the help of friends, family, staff and the community, Steve and Karen opened a temporary store in the local mechanics hall just nine weeks later.

After three years the Price family handed the community back the hall, complete with freshly repaired floors, better lighting and a newly sealed car park.

On August 6, 2001, Steve and Karen, along with their four boys, opened the doors to their newly built supermarket trading as Foodway, located on the corner of Nicholson and Ruskin streets, Orbost, supplying close to 70 locals with permanent and part time job opportunities.

In more recent times, the Price family store started trading under their current banner, FoodWorks but that wasn’t without a couple of name changes in between.

In 2011 the supermarket completed yet another expansion and new store layout, which is how you will find the supermarket at present.

One thing that hasn’t changed in the 33 years that Steve and Karen have been business owners is their ongoing support of local schools, events and fundraisers and local sporting clubs.

The pair has held hundreds of giveaways, donated thousands of dollars to a variety of local organisations and volunteered countless hours within the community.

Steve held the president role at the Orbost Cricket Club for several years where he introduced great opportunities for young budding sportsmen by starting Milo Cricket and Orbost junior cricket sides.

Over the past decade Steve has provided the Orbost Cricket Club with close to 20 international cricket players to help in the senior playing team and to coach the junior sides.

Steve provided living arrangements, a car and a job for the visiting sportsmen.

Steve was also chairman for Food-way for several years - a great achievement and something Steve is proud of.

Some other career highlights include the opening of the new store, winning FoodWorks store of the year, being president of the Orbost Cricket Club while the first “A” grade flag was won, and, most importantly, running a successful business alongside his family.

It hasn’t always been an easy run, with their original store razed to the ground and other major setbacks including Steve’s battle with cancer, but the family has pulled through it together.

Although Steve and Karen still return to Orbost for several weeks of the year, these days you’ll find Steve enjoying the sunny days and a hit of golf on the Sunshine Coast.

Slowing down isn’t an easy task for Steve or Karen. But with their four sons and their partners, four grandchildren, Darcy (7), Addison (6), Austin (5) and Tannah (2), plus more than three decades of great success, it’s safe to say Steve and Karen will enjoy what the future will hold for them.

So the community thanks Steve for his contribution, dedication and ongoing involvement in the community. He has provided many locals with a job, financial support and friendship. Happy 60th birthday, Steve.

PICTURED: Steve Price and his family have provided jobs, leadership and support to the Orbost community for many years.