Crookwell, a short 30 minute drive north-west of Goulburn, has several interesting hidden gems to explore and Arcadia Crookwell is certainly one of them.
"Six years ago Arcadia Crookwell was just an empty building in the middle of the main street of Crookwell," said co-owner of the building, and the business, Christine Seaman.
That's when its owners and operators, Christine and business partner David Johnson, came up with the idea of establishing a business to fill the amazing space they had just renovated.
Today, Arcadia Crookwell houses 17 major outlets and eight smaller businesses featuring a wide variety of interesting items.
"Arcadia Crookwell offers a range of exquisite homewares, upcycled furniture, retro wares, quality ladies clothing, baby wear, kitchen essentials, alpaca products, imported Italian ceramics, lavender oil, handmade chocolates, lollies, jams and relishes, and if that is not enough, books written by our local authors".
As a shopping opportunity as well as a local tourist attraction in its own right, Christine said they had also noticed an increase in visitors this year, as people take day trips or weekends away from Sydney and Canberra or pass through from various other surrounding regions instead of travelling further afield as they may have done without border closures.
The building itself gets a bit of attention too. Christine said it was rebuilt in 1938 after a fire, and has since held a variety of businesses, sometimes a few at once with smaller service-based businesses tucked down the back. It had a stock and station agent at one point. It also rented the front space to a rural bank at some stage, with a photographer and a barber known to be there in the '60s, among others.
Looking to the future, David and Christine have agreed to sell the shopping aspect of the business and once they hand over in February they will still retain the building as local landlords.
They have some refurbishments planned for early in the new year, then the next operators of this shopping experience "have exciting plans to take the business into the future," Christine said.
"In addition to the variety of store holders, Arcadia Crookwell will boast The Crookwell Nursery, as well as a coffee and wine bar. Customers will enjoy ordering a coffee and browsing the store, sitting in a luxe setting relaxing with a glass of wine and devouring a delicious treat from the kitchen."
Additionally, "our new team is excited to host a horticulturist and landscape designer with over 20 years' experience in the garden business."
There's a lot to look forward to from 2021.
Meanwhile, don't forget to do some Christmas shopping and grab a few great gifts you just won't find elsewhere.