BP Mataranka Roadhouse has made big plans to expand following news they will receive a $14,068 tourism grant from the Territory government.
The grant was specified for baking equipment as the local business gets set to provide mango muffins, pastries and fresh bread beginning later this month.
The roadhouse, which became BP earlier this year, will also be expanding its existing cafe in its quest to become Mataranka's 'one-stop shop'.
Business owner Wendy Tralaggan-Pocock says tourism in the region needs to gear itself towards an expected boom in 'drive' tourists from within Australia once borders open.
To this end, the roadhouse will also begin using popular phone app 'Skip' to provide time-poor tourists and residents the opportunity to order before arriving and collect on the fly.
"Following the pandemic it's vital we focus on the drive-market," she said.
"We're talking grey nomads and families mostly, and we need to have things in place for them to spend their money here in town and for Mataranka to see the benefits.
"That means having the right tourism infrastructure to make it work, so it's great the Territory government is getting behind us in this," Mrs Tralaggan-Pocock said.
The roadhouse's expansion will provide extra employment opportunities in a region being starved of its usually thriving dry-season tourism economy.
In this sense, Mrs Tralaggan-Pocock hopes all residents will see the grant as help for not just her business, but the community as a whole.
"We're hiring local, we've got a long-term Northern Territory baker starting in a few weeks and we've hired a local builder to do our cafe extension.
"Improving our business helps everybody, it provides jobs and the town will have a new place to come down and enjoy some great food.
"We've got mango trees in our front yard and Mataranka of course grows a lot of mangoes, so we'll be making our own trademark mango muffin as well as everything else you would expect from a bakery," she said.
The grant was awarded as part of the NT Tourism Board's $2 million 'Immediate Tourism Resilience Plan', which has awarded almost $500,000 in grants to 17 businesses thus far.
Other recipients in our region include the Daly Waters Pub to build new 'executive suites', to Katherine Regional Arts and to Tennant Creek's 'Top of Town' Cafe to develop an outdoor dining section.
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