FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SWEET TOOTH
To the casual passer-by, this small general store on the corner of Redfern and George Streets looks fairly commonplace. In reality, it’s a lolly-lovers nirvana and an Instagram sensation with more than 24,000 followers. People venture from all over Sydney to visit this local corner store with a cult-like fan base.
Owner Hazem Sedda was encouraged by friend and 2GB radio presenter Ben Fordham to share the vivacious, sugar-laden shelves of his store on social media as a way to attract new customers, back in 2015. In the five years since, the store has become a focal point for those in search of American candy, English treats, limited edition snacks, and the double-tap-worthy shots to go with them.
Hazem credits his success to his Middle Eastern work ethic, and the opportunities made possible in Australia: “We [Middle Easterners] don’t like to ask for things, we like to make things happen – so if we need something, if we have a goal, we have to do it.”
“I love Australia. I love it as much as I love my home country. Australia gave us everything we need – the study, the work, the safety. So, we are lucky to be here.”
And while most convenience stores offer goods available at most shops, Redfern Convenience Store stocks international and exceptional products from around the world — a nod to Redfern’s diversity, with more than 50 per cent of the suburb’s population born overseas.
For Mr Sedda, it’s all about respecting people rather than just focusing on the product. Each day, Mr Sedda selects a visitor to the shop as the customer of the day and posts a picture of them with their purchase on Instagram. The daily routine has become so widespread people come in explicitly to try and be featured on the account.
IMAGE CREDIT: Joey Clark