Basha’s history in the Shoalhaven – family legacy of quality and service
Basha’s is one of the oldest and most trusted names on the Nowra retail scene with four generations of the Basha family having serviced the local area since 1902.
The business, now known as Basha’s Floors & Blinds Pty Ltd, is currently run by Joe and Sabine Basha but was originally founded by Joe’s great-grandfather Thomas Basha.
Thomas arrived in Australia from Lebanon in the late 1880s. He operated stores in Wagga and Gundagai before coming to Nowra and opening the doors of T. Basha & Sons in Junction Street in 1902.
For many years Basha’s stocked a wide variety of goods, including menswear, drapery, school uniforms, lightings, furniture and carpet.
Thomas Basha’s sons Joe and Phil followed him into the business, before the next generation, brothers Tom and John Basha took over.
Current owner Joe Basha remembers helping out in the shop when he was a child. His first job was joining carpet, but he would also help out in the school holidays, bagging all the components for curtains and blinds.
“The Junction Street store had an upstairs department where the carpets were made up and downstairs, there were furniture, curtains, lights and blinds,” he said.
While floorcoverings were destined to become an important part of the business, Joe said Basha’s first carpet laying job was done in 1922.
“Basha’s put carpet down at the Albion Hotel, which would later become the Nowra Hotel where the Commonwealth Bank now stands” says Joe. “The pub was owned by Mrs Hardiman, who owned a couple of hotels in town.”
“Carpet started to become more popular in the 1960s when tufted carpet became available,” he said.
Basha’s has always been a family affair. “My mother Deanna made curtains while my aunt Judy worked in the furniture section”, Joe said.
When Joe’s parents and aunt retired in December 2001, he and Sabine took over the floor coverings and blinds division of the business operating in Graham Street, whilst the furniture store in Junction Street closed down.
Joe said a culture of strong customer service has been passed down through generations of the Basha family, which he believes is the key component of their success. “We see competition come and go and we still seem to be around. We have a legacy to carry on. People know the name and they trust the name.”