After lying vacant for more than six months, Five Star Supermarket has been sold to a buyer with ambitious plans to extensively renovate it.
The ageing building in a prime position in Katherine's main street is set to undergo major renovations with new owner AiHua Feng now on board and looking to the future.
Acknowledging the risks of buying the business which was forced to close suddenly in July of last year following a steep decline in customers, Mrs Feng said she has confidence in Katherine.
"I don't believe in impossible," she said.
"Everyone thinks Katherine and Darwin is dead, I don't think so. Five Star is in a good location, and I want to build it up, give it a fresh feel and bring something fancy to Katherine."
Mrs Feng plans to completely renovate the dilapidated space to make way for a convenience store, cafe and art gallery.
But not just any convenience store slash cafe, she wants to build something that wouldn't be amiss in the middle of Melbourne or Sydney.
"If I keep things the same it will no doubt fail like before," she said.
"I want to sell local, fresh produce, organic breads and other essentials.
"I can't compete with Woolworths, so we have to create something different."
The walls inside and out will have to be painted, floors re-tiled and there are plans to build a commercial kitchen.
Mrs Feng said she has her mind set on a cafe filled with plants and artwork tied to Katherine's rich Indigenous culture.
"There are a lot of good coffee places in Melbourne and Sydney where people enjoy sitting in a nice environment, I want to bring that here," she said.
"People go to (Nitmiluk) gorge where they hear about Australia's history and I want a place on the main street showcasing the amazing Indigenous art from the Katherine region.
"There is a lot of work to be done, and it will cost a lot, but I have confidence in Katherine and I am passionate and persistent."
The business woman, who splits her time between living in Darwin and Kuala Lumpur, said she started her first business in China selling books to other students when she was just 13.
With a family ingrained in business, she hasn't stopped since.
At university she started a fresh breakfast home delivery service and competed with the school canteen.
She said she's made a killing in the Chinese property market, and has a masters in accounting and finance.
She currently owns convenience stores across the Territory including the Booraloola Motel, 168 General Store in Maningrida and 88 General Store in Ngukurr.
The new purchase adds to a long list of businesses including a recent acquisition of a 31 hectare farm in Katherine - which she wants to build into a resort where tourists can experience unique Australian wildlife - and a warehouse on Pearce Street.
Aside from a passion for buying and building up her purchases, she said she has confidence in Katherine, and that she has always wanted to make her mark in the small town.
Katherine will never disappear.AiHua Feng
"Katherine will never disappear, the road is not going anywhere and while it exists you will always have people driving through," she said.
"Katherine is the centre for all these surrounding communities, and some might even say it is more important, more of a hub, than Darwin.
"If we build it up, people wouldn't need to drive all the way to Darwin to buy things.
"I know it is going to be tough, but if we can provide good food, good service and work together, we can keep people here."
The impending takeover is a shot in the arm for Katherine's CBD especially with the closure this week of the Katherine Cinema which remains on the market.
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