Conflict over chocolate territory leaves small business with ‘no power’

ABOVE: Kristy Swordy with the confectionery she sells in her Kyogle shop. Photos: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

The gourmet confectionery in Kristy Swordy’s shop is her biggest seller.

Ms Swordy brought the New Farm handmade products from Brisbane to her shop Kreatif Decor and Design in Kyogle’s main street as a drawcard.

“It’s my best selling item,” she said.

She was disappointed to see the same gourmet chocolates and marshmallows now selling at Ritchies IGA Supermarket in Kyogle.

Ms Swordy said there were only two outlets in NSW for the New Farm brand – her shop and one in Maclean. Now Kyogle has two outlets.

Ritchies IGA Supermarket manager Brendan Alvos said it was not his decision to bring the New Farm brand to the Kyogle supermarket.

“It’s a national agreement,” Mr Alvos said.

“It’s nothing to do with the store here.”

IGA has 85 stores and the New Farm Confectionery will be in all these stores, Mr Alvos said.

He said he would go and speak with Ms Swordy to explain it wasn’t his decision

“I would never do that to a small business in town,” he said.

Mr Alvos didn’t know if IGA had approached the confectionery company or vice versa.

“I didn’t even know the chocolate shop existed,” he said.

However, the decision was made, Ms Swordy said she had “no power” and could not compete against a supermarket chain. contacted New Farm Confectionery for comment about how their products are placed. They have not responded.

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