Jason and Fiona have been the owners of Highland Fires and BBQs since last year, but the store has been the go-to for all your BBQ and firewood needs for a long time. The couple took over the business in July of last year, just before retail sales really started to slow down for the season. As with taking over any new business, they wondered what they’d gotten themselves into!
Instead of fretting over it, they hunkered down and got creating new branding, signage, advertising, and online content, as well as bringing on new suppliers and products. Jason says it really was a true leap of faith spending all this money on these things. This all paid off when the high season hit in February, when traffic finally increased, and the investment paid off.
Interestingly, COVID has increased their sales, as people stuck at home looked to improve their properties, and, of course find a bit of extra warmth in the winter months.
They were able to keep the store open, but with extra cleaning and social distancing, as well as introducing a contactless order and pick-up system so to allow their customers to gather their products without ever entering the store, easing their worries. Given they’re not a super high-traffic store, it wasn’t to tough for them to implement anyways.
Throughout lockdown they served their locals whenever they can. One of their customers was immune compromised and so couldn’t leave her house, meaning she had to buy her fire remotely. She called the team who arranged everything remotely, with the only face-to-face contact being a single plumber who attended her home to install the fire, who followed all the necessary protocols.
They really go out of their way to return the amazing support given to them by the Southern Highlands community, so make sure you GO LOCAL FIRST and shop with your local fire and BBQ store when you’re looking!