Brian, Owner, Wagner’s Rose Nursery

Wagner’s Rose Nursery has been growing roses for over 60 years, starting in Adelaide in the ‘50s, moving to Port Noarlunga South and then McLaren Vale and finally in Kalangadoo, in the South East of South Australia, 20 years ago. After a youth spent surfing and skiing in New Zealand, Brian took over the family business in the early ‘80s. Brian’s passion and experience for the industry started at a very young age, spending most of his time with the parents at the Nursery and making his very first money picking blooms at sunrise for the florist trade when he was only 7. In 2003, during one of his cycling journeys around the world, Brian met Benedetta, an Italian photojournalist who brought her photography and communication skills to the business. Together they have built the business up to be one of the largest growers of roses in Australia; their wholesale….

Pete and Sal, Crew, The Side Project

Meet Pete and Sal, two of the six crew members from The Side Project, who produce genuine craft cider made from 26 varieties of English and French cider apples grown in their orchard in Kalangadoo, South Australia. It took eight years after planting their orchard in 2006 to produce their first cider – using three Breville juicers – and creating a tiny 100L of juice. However, from that day their ‘Side Project’ was born. Today their small business is still run after hours and on weekends, but they have thankfully come a long way since their humble Breville days! Local event and festivals play a big part in promoting their brand – which have ceased with COVID restrictions. However, the team feel positive things will slowly return to a ‘new normal’. Sales to local bottle shops have remained strong, and they are hoping to get more traction with online sale…..

Jamie, Park Ranger, Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park

Meet Jamie, the park ranger at one of South Australia’s most impressive caves, the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park. This spectacular cave, set into a cliff face is believed to have been exposed by the constant pounding of the ocean. Over time the sea has retreated leaving behind a cavern of interesting shells, pebbles and seal bones. Today, Tantanoola Caves comprises an extraordinary display of cave decorations (speleothems) in beautiful shades of pink and brown, coloured by its dolomite base rock. The ‘Up and Down Rocks’ is a special highlight. Tantanoola is one of Australia’s few wheelchair accessible caves. Upon arrival, enjoy a special hosted experience as a knowledgeable guide introduces you to the history and geology of the caves and explains how its spectacular array of formations has developed over thousands of years. You are then free to stroll through the large cavern at your leisure and take photographs.

Doug, Kirsty and Pete, Owners, Balnaves of Coonawarra

The Balnaves family have been in the Penola/Coonawarra district since the 1850’s when Jane Balnaves set up as a storekeeper in Penola after emigrating from Paisley in Scotland.  Doug, Kirsty and Pete are direct descendants of Jane and now own and operate Balnaves of Coonawarra. The family have unique Wine Room which overlooks a tranquil pond full of bird life, surrounded by vineyards and over 900 beautiful roses. Visitors are welcome to taste through a range of highly acclaimed wines whilst talking with their local team who have plenty of stories to share. Enjoy a glass of wine whilst you wander through, or sit in the gardens or relax on the deck overlooking the gorgeous pond. The Balnaves family have a long commitment to supporting local businesses, employing local people, and being involved in a vibrant local community, and have been for over 170 years. From storekeepers to winery owners,….

Patrick, Owner, Puma Coolalinga

Say G’day to Patrick, the owner of Puma Petrol and Convenience store all the way up in sunny Coolalinga. Pat and the rest of New Sunrise Group have had a busy year and have partnered with the GO LOCAL FIRST campaign to run the Local Legends’ Lunch, which gave Australian’s the chance to win $1000 worth of fuel! When the pandemic first hit, Pat and the team initially saw a decline in both customer numbers and sales, as waves of uncertainty hit the Territory and people tightened their purse strings. Thankfully, they were spared from the harshest lockdowns which allowed them to bounce back really strongly in the latter half of the year. While business was slow, Pat took the time to invest back into the business and diversify what they had in store. Most importantly, they focused on getting their business name out there in the community and made….

Rachel and Boston, Owners, Lilac Green Florist

Lilac Green was born out of Covid-19 in June 2020 – after both Boston and Rachel lost their jobs working in the floristry industry during the height of the pandemic. With a lot of time on their hands, and a wealth of creative experience and passion but nowhere to use it, they decided to launch Lilac Green and see what would happen! A few months later, thanks to the incredible support from their community in Brisbane, interstate and even overseas – Lilac Green is thriving. Rachel and Boston couldn’t be more grateful and humbled by the overwhelming love they’ve received over the past 5 months, and can’t thank their customers enough. Boston says that it’s because of them they’re able to live their dreams every day. The two owners have a storied history, meeting all the way back in 2007. After years of moving around for work, a chance meeting….

Simon, Owner, Early n’ Fresh

When Simon started Early n’ Fresh back in 2017, he wanted to offer residential homes the opportunity to taste Victoria’s freshest fruit and vegetables. With the two big supermarkets doing online orders he quickly had to change his business model to wholesale only. Since then, they’ve grown so quickly, and are the supplier for over 100 restaurants and cafes in Melbourne. With the first wave of lockdowns the business took a massive hit as they rely mainly on restaurants and cafes, who were forced to move to take-away only, this translated to a loss of 80 per cent of their businesses in the first week of lockdowns. Luckily, Simon showed off his savviness to pivot to offer home deliveries again. They quickly launched a bespoke website, and the takeaway portion of their business has been the main breadwinner since March. Although its been a tough period, the whole team is….

Tim and Katie, Owners, Berry Jam Sweet Living

Tim and Katie’s small business journey started after opening a homewares store called Jedo’s Beach House. After owning Jedo’s for years and putting in the hard yards, they decided to sell the business and their house along with it to take their three young kids around the country for a full year of camping. They’re now back, better than ever with a new business. Tim and Katie have kept the same feel of quality with their new business but have moved their focus out of beachware into a broader ethical living and shopping aesthetic. When COVID hit, like so many other small businesses their trading hours were diminished for a while, meaning they had to cut back the hours they could offer their staff. They’ve also moved away from the traditional brick-and-mortar model and created a website, which they were exited about but was super nerve-wracking! They’re now working to….

Blake, Owner, Yamba Bowlo & Leisure

Blake, the marketing/gaming manager of Bowlo Sports and Leisure in Yamba, tells us that the land to build the first bowling green was approved in 1935, and the original owners borrowed 300 pounds to construct it. Two years later, the first Club House was built, at a cost of just 130 pounds! Although the clubhouse was rebuilt in 1998, it’s been institutionalised as Yamba locals’ go-to place to get together and play bowls. As a long-running business, COVID has certainly severely impacted the long-running business, forcing them to reduce trading hours, and seeing a reduction of 20 per cent in foot traffic. This, after they had to close their doors for ten weeks. They’ve put in a fair few measures to make sure they’re COVIDSafe, to keep patrons healthy and comfortable. These include constant ‘COVID cleans’, sensors on the doors to reduce touch points, mandatory hand sanitizing at regular intervals,….

Maddison, Owner and Founder, AMMO Hair and Beauty

When Maddison founded AMMO Hair and Beauty back in 2016, the team was just her, a single hairdresser, and a single beautician operating out of one salon. Although they started small, she’s always been a trailblazer, as they were the first to offer a one-stop-shop for both hair and beauty for Maclean’s locals. Our many hairdressers and salons have been hit so hard by the pandemic, and this was no different for Maddison. She’s had to shut down the beauty side of things, but thankfully they were able to remain open for hairdressing, which gave them a bit of income to keep doors open. They’re now back to operating at full capacity, and couldn’t be happier to be back at work – although social distancing protocols can be a bit of a headache! Maclean locals have such a strong sense of community, and they were super supportive throughout COVID, and….