Moving from Brisbane to the outback and taking over a local truck stop was a big gamble for these sisters, but it’s one that has well and truly paid off.
Laura Josey (29) and Mary Josey (26) grew up in Brisbane and made the move to Morven in March 2018 to begin a new adventure – and life away from the city is certainly suiting them both.
A town of just 250 people, Morven is located about eight hours west of Brisbane, less than an hour from Charleville and about two hours from Roma.
Mary and Laura’s parents had bought the freehold of the local service station and had the place leased. But it didn’t work out. “Taking over the truck stop wasn’t the initial plan – our parents asked if we could take over the truck stop. We literally had just three days notice. It all happened very, very quickly,” said Laura.
“It was such a big change to move out here from Brisbane. It’s a whole different world – everyone is so much more relaxed, the truckies are all so friendly, our customers and staff are always willing to help, and the community has been great too.”
Since taking over the Morven truck Stop, the sisters have been able to double their turnover. “There’s been so much growth and there’s still room for improvement too,” Laura said.
“That growth has come thanks to our staff and our customers. Because we came in without the technical expertise of running a truck stop or service station, we really focused on offering great customer service. The staff are always on our level and know what we’re thinking. Just having that rapport with our staff and customers has made a really big difference.”
The sisters recently added a rural store to back of the truck stop and are planning on making other upgrades in the near future. “People have been asking us to upgrade the amenities, so we’re going to get some new showers and toilets. The ones we have are 30 or so years old, so they’re still working fine, but we want to give the space some TLC,” Laura added.
Along with finding success through the Morven Truck Stop, Mary has found love too and will be getting married in just over a week.
She met Duncan McNair after he made numerous visits to the truck stop. “He was coming in and straight out ignoring Mary. We thought he hated her,” laughed Laura
“Then we went to a rodeo in Charleville and my partner and I were talking to Duncan and it turned out he was just really shy. They started going out after the rodeo and he proposed on Christmas Day last year,” explained Laura.
Though she’s still involved with the Morven Truck Stop, Mary has made the move to Quilpie to be with her fiancé, where she’s started another business venture – a coffee van that sits within a converted horse float.
“Mary’s little coffee van in Quilpie is something she’s wanted to do for ages. We often get people stopping here, then stopping in Quilpie, which is about three hours away,” said Laura.
When the girls first moved to Morven, the truck stop and motel, along with a pub that burned down a few years prior, were all there was for those visiting the town.
Since then, Morven is experiencing continued growth and development, with a new pub now open, along with a grocery store, a mechanic workshop and a hairdresser opening soon too.