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I like the sound of your basic idea, I live in a small rural town within a tourist region … if done well, it certainly can work.

My first question would be;

How well is the town you’re looking at doing? Any retail is tough, but 2 businesses looking to get out would make me cautious (depending on the size of town).

Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work, even if the town is not at it’s peak (but has potential for traffic). Sometimes, which was the case where I live … the mix of businesses is wrong, or dated.

My partner and I took a punt and developed a cafe (I have a building background too) when the town was nearly dead … sold it a few years later at a very tidy profit … town is now booming for a variety of reasons. We had half an acre behind the shop/residence and did a similar thing … chooks, vege’s etc and put them through the cafe as finished products, customers loved it … we had regulars and tourists.

If it was me I’d be concentrating on the food side, you have the background. Combining it with your own produce can be a winner … get a good name, and then go the “farm gate” nursery / produce stuff when people know what you can do. I think the margins in food are better too.

Good luck with it.