Felicity, Owner, Scoops + Candy

Say G’day to another business born just before the pandemic – Felicity, who founded Scoops and Candy in Lismore. They started trading with a brick-and-mortar store in February of this year, recruiting a bunch of their friends to fit out the shop themselves. When they first opened Felicity and her partner were busy running two other businesses, but after making the tough decision to close doors due to COVID, they’re thrilled to be able to focus all their efforts into the new store for the future. After fitting out the store and having COVID hit, they immediately decided to pivot into online business, which means they’re now able to send their confectionary all around Australia. Although they weren’t hit too hard by lockdowns, Felicity says the toughest thing was trying to explain to the kids why they couldn’t enter the store due to capacity limits – all they wanted were….

Stephanie, Owner, Witches in Britches

Say G’day to Stephanie, whose owned Witches in Britches since 1990. Stephanie took over the venue 30 years ago, but they’ve got a long history serving their local community from as far back as 1970. Although the venue’s owners have changed hands, they’re proud to still be a family run business that provides fantastic entertainment and fabulous food to their locals. The venue’s got a pretty storied history, hosting many, many shows during their lifetime. Back in 2006 a fire ravaged their foyer area during a show and made its way into the theatre, decimating the ground floor of the building. They refused to give up, and after a year of rebuilding they came back stronger than ever. Since they host live theatre performed while you eat a delicious dinner, Victoria’s restrictions meant that they were legally unable to open. They’ve had to refund all their customers, but Stephanie says….

Deb, Owner, Twisted History & Geelong Gaol Museum

Meet Deb, the owner of Twisted History & Geelong Gaol Museum for the last four years, but the museum and it’s company have been scaring Victoria’s locals for the last fifteen years. As you can imagine, running ghost tours has given Deb a few noteworthy stories. One of their regulars is a lady who comes to the adult easter egg hunt every year, despite fainting when she sees scary faces! Another one of her favourites is when a customer came on their Haunted Halloween Zombie Run, and (despite lots of warnings) ran into a wall and knocked himself out. Deb says their Ghost Tours are so scary they’ve had a heap of customers run out unable to complete the tours. On the weirder side of things, on one of their school tours, a student pulled out his glass eye to compare it to the guide’s creepy contact lenses! Deb’s full….

Jessica, Owner, Metro Furniture Group

Although Jessica took over as owner of Prahran’s Metro Furniture group last year, its been in the family since 1983 when her Dad, George, opened doors in 1983 on Chapel Street. Her dad closed their retail store back in 2012 and kept trading with existing clients, but when he released the business name in February last year, Jessica had to keep it in the family! When lockdowns first hit, Jessica was able to trade, but with heavily reduced hours as foot traffic in the area decreased. She offers a more personalised service and makes herself super accessible to her clients, so the only change for her was to be a little more flexible with her hours. Through all of this her customers were so understanding, and Jessica says they are all “absolutely wonderful”. Things picked up again in June and business returned, but sadly it fell again come August, leading….

Michelle and Daniel, Owners, Linnaea Vineyards

Michelle and Daniel founded Linnaea Vineyards back in 2010 when they were a new couple with a small child, who’d moved to Melbourne not knowing any family or friends. Michelle says the couple had plenty of knowledge and experience, but didn’t know where to begin besides knuckling down and crafting their wines! Ten years on, they’ve weathered the lonely days of their winemaking careers, and have grown from strength-to-strength. Their main clients are Victoria’s many fabulous restaurants and wine bars, so when lockdowns hit they took it extra hard. They’ve managed to make it so that their doors are functionally open but given that the restaurants they rely on have closed doors, its easier said than done. They’ve had to get creative with social media, re-jigging their website, and increasing their digital marketing, and they’re currently looking for some outside help to increase their sales. On the vineyard, they’ve made….

Lynda, Leslie, and Rachel, Founders, Alice’s Journeys

Lynda, Leslie and Rachel are the talented ladies behind Alice’s Journeys, the best way to get out and discover the living museum that is Daylesford. They’ve sussed out some of their community’s best walking trails that have a wealth of history, and they run tours every week where they share secrets and stories while visiting key sites around the town. Whether you’re a local just looking to find out some more about your towns pre-colonial or prehistoric past, or a visitor who wants to found out some of the regions hidden gems, Lynda, Leslie and Rachel have got you covered. They founded the business in April last year and were consistently running walking tours each week until COVID forced them to hit pause in April. Alice’s Journeys is more than just a business for the trio, they really have a passion for spreading the wealth of history that exists right….

Catherine, Co-Founder, TradeSquare

In the midst of the COVID crisis, Catherine, along with a group of seasoned entrepreneurs decided to launch TradeSquare, to help Australian small businesses source goods locally, online. The inspiration for TradeSquare came after the pandemic hit pause on the trade shows and sales events that so many businesses rely on. After being left wondering where to find inspiration and find supplies, the idea came to her, and TradeSquare was born. Built for Australians, by Australians, they’re aiming to be leader in the space, just with cheaper prices, quicker transactions, and easier communication between buyers and suppliers. Their main focus is on the businesses that provide a livelihood for so many of us – small businesses and not-for-profits nationwide. So far, they’ve partnered with child-care providers, art schools, educators, retailers and hospitality operators. As they’re both Australian owned and operated, TradeSquare helps small businesses save a heap of money when….

Damien, Owner, Tiny Bear Distillery

Meet Damien, the owner of Tiny Bear Distillery, who produce artisan Gin Whisky, and all things local and delicious. They were born back in 2017 after Damien, a long-time high school teacher decided it was time for a change and follow his dream. Hes always had a passion to make the absolute best alcohol they can, and they’re fully committed to this, taking no shortcuts. Even better, they produce their offerings by employing local people, building their family and taking the utmost care in all aspects of the process. Their name comes from their ethos. Tiny, because they choose to do everything in-house, meaning they make a tiny (but worth it) amount. The bear comes after some said that Damien looks like a bear (beard aside!) – but the real reason is a well-kept secret, so you’ll need to give them a visit to find out for yourself. Sadly, with….

Ericka, Owner, Murrumbeena Wine Bar

Meet Ericka, who has been running live music and showcasing Australian boutique wineries, distilleries and breweries for her locals since last year. She’s got a great love for Australian tipples, and so it made so much sense to open up a space for her to share her passion with her community! The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit through COVID, and this was no different for Ericka. She was forced to close the bar when the pandemic hit, and due to restrictions in Victoria they remain closed. Refusing to give up, she’s pivoted to a take away delivery service, so she can continue to connect and support her locals through the restrictions. Her locals have always been super careful to shop locally, and the Wine Bar has received excellent support. This continued through restrictions and transferred to their take-away service which was hugely popular with the locals…..

Luke, Owner, Dracula’s Cabaret

Dracula’s Cabaret has been scaring the locals of Broadbeach all the way since 1960, helmed by owner, Luke. Dracula’s original location was just around the corner from where they are currently, and the original owners converted a series of shops into a theatre space. As the business went from strength-to-strength they outgrew their original location and moved to their current site, where they raised the roof to accommodate more seating and installed a rigging system that lets their performers fly over the audience. After a lengthy closure brough about by COVD, Dracula’s is back with a COVID safe plan! The health of their customers is number one, so they’ve opened back up with limited capacity to allow for social distancing, increased cleaning protocols and a limited performance schedule (for now). Throughout the uncertainty of COVID, Luke says that they’ve been overhelmed with the support received from the local Queenslanders. They’ve….