It was only at the end of September 2018 that I received the news that I could convert two garages in the ‘Old Post Office Units’ into my much anticipated bookstore. A frantic month followed in which the days were filled with construction and nights with ordering. In fact, I had plenty of time on my hand because I could not sleep anyway.

I enjoyed the camaraderie with my new neighbours, Steve and Vick from L J Hooker Real Estate and Carol and Craig from Lake Tekapo Holiday Homes. Although the building is very central, the misguided infrastructure made it essential that we worked on signage so our customers, clients and guests would be able to find us.

The day of the opening made all the hard work and sleepless nights worthwhile. So many friends, family and locals were there to confirm what I hoped was true: Lake Tekapo needs a shop like this. A shop that is in the first place for locals. A shop where the community can come together to have book groups and writing workshops. A shop where you can take your time with a cup of tea or coffee and browse for hours.

The support I received on the opening day has only grown since. Lake Tekapo has only a very small permanent population (about 400 people) but they are so important to me. I need them, I need their referrals, I need their feedback. In return, I hope that they will see Petronella’s Gallery and Bookstore as an essential part of a well-balanced community.

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