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Bought a business, expanded already

Everything fell into place and now I have the opportunity to grow it and see where it takes me.

Life in remote central west Queensland was not new for Jenna Brook when she bought the Birdsville Roadhouse in early 2020.

She had grown up in the town until she left for boarding schooling in Adelaide, then university in Sydney, with travels to Canada and Africa among other places and a stint in major regional city Rockhampton.

But life turned full circle when she returned home for a month and then stayed.

“It took me a long time to realize that it’s actually okay to want to stay in your small hometown, once I accepted that was an okay thing for me to do, I was able to see a lot more of the opportunities,” she explained.

Over the counter in the roadhouse, that serves thousands and thousands of tourists with fuel and groceries as well as the small local community, she explains having her own business and being her own boss, is extremely liberating.

“When you realise everything you are doing is going to impact your success or failure it becomes very easy to do the extra bit of work that’s required,” she says

She already has expanded the business to incorporate a cafe and hasn’t looked back.

“I came to that time in my life where I wanted to put down some roots. Obviously, Birdsville has been home for most of my life and the roadhouse was the opportunity and everything fell into place and now I have the freedom to grow it and see where it takes me,” she explains. 

While running the Birdsville Roadhouse is challenging and rewarding in equal measure it’s not the only attraction.

“It’s a place where I can be free to be exactly who I am and I can have a real impact as well in a small community like this,”

But she cautions other single people keen to give business a go out here, that they won’t see the full rewards if they are not connected to the community or willing to be flexible. 

“In small communities, we all play a number of different roles,  we all develop skills in a number of areas we didn’t know we ever wanted to or needed to.  And for people who are open-minded about that, there is definitely opportunity.  I don’t think there is a better place or experience to life.”

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