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Boots and all business steers in new direction

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FAMILY AFFAIR - (L-R) John and Trish Shugg with daughter Fiona and their dog Miss Murphy Brown the Second. Photo – Jessica Howard

By Jessica Howard

Iconic western-wear business McDonald’s Saddlery has closed its doors for the last time.
The Bacchus Marsh-based business held its last day of trade on Monday, April 30, after close to three decades.
Trish Shugg, who owns the business with her husband John, said the decision came after the 120-year-old building was sold and the lease ran out.
“I am feeling extremely sad at this point,” she said.
“McDonald’s Saddlery is an icon, not only here in Bacchus Marsh, but throughout all of Australia and New Zealand. This is the end of an era”.
The saddlery first opened in the old Bacchus Marsh butcher premises in February 1990, before moving into one half of the famous Grant Street building.
“This place has enormous character and has always suited our shop right down to the ground,” Trish said.
“The other half used to be a ceramic place, and when they moved out, we took over the whole shop. We needed that extra space with the amount of stock we have here, all of which is imported from the States, China and India in order to give our customers the best price”.
Trish, who has had a love for horses her whole life, travelled to America each year to keep in touch with her suppliers.
“We’ve always endeavoured to provide the best possible product we can, as well as the best customer service,” she said.
“McDonald’s Saddlery has never been a cold store, but a warm and welcoming place that gives customers the freedom to explore, while also providing the best advice possible.
“I think after 28-years that’s what I’ll miss the most – the customers and interacting with them on a daily basis. It’s going to be really hard to move on from that”.
However, while the doors on the saddlery have shut, the Shuggs are not riding into the sunset just yet.
Trish and John’s daughter, Fiona has helped create a new eCommerce Website, which will be live from Monday, May 7.
“While we will be moving on from the hard yakka of running a physical business, we will still stock our products in a warehouse just outside of Bacchus Marsh,” Trish said.
“Going online is going to be a very big move, and I imagine the first two to three months will be difficult organising and adjusting, but it will hopefully give us more family time, and me more time with my horses”.
McDonald’s Saddlery can now be found at www.mcdonalds-saddlery.com.au.