Our small businesses

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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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.....
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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....
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Shaun, Founder, The Marble Man

The Marble Man origins lie all the way back in 1991, after sixteen-year-old Shaun began working in his father’s stone manufacture and installation business. Shaun played a small role at the beginning, repairing small chips and cracks in newly installed benchtops, but his services were quickly requested by other manufacturers, and so he quickly noticed a gap in the market. And so, The Marble Man was born, and he proudly provides stone restoration and repair services for the Gold Coast’s locals. With the restrictions imposed by the Queensland government, Shaun was forced to pivot the business and adjust to meet all the requirements to ensure their technicians and customers felt safe, and work could continue. Thankfully, with people working from home Shaun could plan work, and managed to continue to trade. The cost of all these changes piled up, and the cost of supplying their team with fresh PPE while....
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Sandy, Owner/Operator, Sandy Scheltema Photographer

Meet Trentham’s locally grown, award-winning photographer, Sandy. Sandy is a internationally renowned photographer, winning many prizes for her photos and travelling all around the globe, but she says nothing beats working within her local community. Whatever your photo needs, big or small, Sandy is there to fulfill them. There is no job too big or small for Sandy, she’s previously covered weddings, food photoshoots, and created image banks for social media – just tell sandy your vision and she’ll help translate your vision into an amazing image. Sandy says the only thing that’ll get us through these hard times is community connections. It’s so important for both consumers and businesses to band together through the pandemic and support their fantastic local businesses – not to mention their offerings are usually better than chain-stores! For the past few months Sandy has been documenting her town as they navigate the pandemic through....
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Mick and Lisa, Owners, Hilltop Kennel and Cattery

Meet Mick and Lisa, the owners of Hilltop Kennel and Cattery down in Hepburn Shire. Mick and his wife, Lisa, took ownership of the property back in 2007, but the kennels were established all the way back in 1981. Hilltop is a family-run business, and Mick and Lisa have a lifelong passion for animal care, welfare and nutrition. Hepburn Shire always has a ton of locals coming through, but so much of the accommodation isn’t pet friendly, so the kennels are the perfect place to make sure your fur baby gets enough love while you’re travelling. Lisa has over fifteen years of veterinary experience with both large and small animals, which allows them to cater for all types of animals, although they specialize in animals that require a little more care than most. Although they’ve had a significant decrease in business as lockdown continues, they love that their customers from....
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Rhonda and Stephanie, Owners, The Green Store

Meet Rhonda and Stephanie, the mother-daughter team who own and operate The Green Store in Trentham. Rhonda and Stephanie started out back in 1995 at their original Fairfield location, and moved to their central Trentham location five years ago. Although they started 25 years ago, they set up one of the first sustainable stores, and they have customers who still come in to say they’re still using their products they purchased back in 1995. The small, family run business is their locals’ go-to spot for sustainable lifestyle goods and homewares, as well as a general store for home, garden, body and baby. The store specializes in natural, organic, and ethically sourced products that have a focus on thoughtful design and functionality. Along with their Australian made homewares and fashion, Rhonda and Stephanie offer myotherapy consultation, massage therapy and beauty treatments in their wonderfully kitted-out treatment room. The support that the....
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Clare, Founder, Daylesford Cider

Say hi to Clare, who founded Daylesford Cider in the beautiful Hepburn Shire. Clare has a long-time love affair with Cider, and their brewery produces a range of craft ciders made using the 17 varieties of English-heritage listed cider apples, which are grown organically on their farm just outside of Daylesford. Their picturesque building is based on a few famous English landmarks, and the design was revised when they built the cellar door back in 2008. Its design is so true-to-form that many of their locals think it’s a conversion or a much older building, but Clare says this is just because of all the thought and care they put into the design. The property is also home to a cellar door, where they sell their range of craft ciders and run a small kitchen, mostly open for lunch. Their orchard is super beautiful, and they offer guided tours and....
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Ant and Sam, Owners, Discover Daylesford

While most of us took some time for ourselves when lockdowns hit, Ant and Sam rolled up their sleeves and founded Discover Daylesford. The couple initially set out to bring local businesses into the community throughout COVID, as they firmly believe its even more important for businesses to work in unity during this time. As they grew in popularity, they organically became their local authority to discover local businesses and tourist information. After the success of their endeavours, they were approached by several local property owners, who wanted them to create a short-term property management service with a difference. Supporting local businesses is at their core, so they actively consulted businesses owners and based their management service on that, with a focus on creating unique and memorable experience for visitors to the Shire. Its not all been easy, but Ant and Sam say that the support from the community has....
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Trent and Nicole, Owners, Sanctus Brewing Company

A lifelong passion for handcrafted goodness and some intense research and development proved to be the spark that delivered Sanctus Brewing Company to the Clarence Valley last year. The R&D, also known as drinking beer or ‘tasting’ as the purists like to say, has paid off for Trent and Nicole, with locals and visitors alike all flocking to what has fast become the pride of the Clarence. The core beer range consists of six carefully brewed delights that are the perfect accompaniment to that famous north coast lifestyle, one that is chilled and smooth by design. There are also seasonal and limited release beers on tap at the brewhouse. The early success was quickly interrupted by the local bushfire tragedy, with a thick layer of smoke covering the area for over a month. A fundraiser was planned for late March for bushfire victims, complete with a specially brewed beer and....
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Tony and Edith, Founders, Paarhammer Windows and Doors

Say hi to Tony and Edith, the founders of Paarhammer Windows and Doors in Ballan. Paarhammer started back in 1990 as Design and Handicraft Furniture in a small rented garage, making fine furniture and European style kitchens. In 1991 the business moved to a small factory in the Ballan Industrial Estate and employed their first apprentice. When Tony and Edith started to build their own home in 1991, they couldn’t find the energy efficient windows and doors they grew up with in Austria. Tony already had a background in window making, and so they decided to found the business. In 1996 the couple decided to change the name to ‘Paarhammer’, their surname, as a sign that they stand fully behind their products – and the business became a company. Several extensions to the original factory were put on as the business grew. For the 20th business anniversary in 2010 Paarhammer....
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Will, Owner/Operator, William Hancock Guitars

Will’s journey into guitar making began when he was just two years old. After picking up a guitar (that was much bigger than him!) and begging his Mum to play a bedtime song, he fell in love with both music and guitars. Fast forward to 2006 and Will was looking for work after his plans in the music-business soured, and he pondered what to do for the next stage of his life. After stumbling upon an ad for guitar making classes, and after a year working for a guitar importer learning guitar set-up and logistics, Will knew what to do and the rest is history! Will is now proud to create bespoke stringed instruments, made to order from repurposed Australian timber, which he says are the best in the business, and better than any factory-made guitar could ever be. When he needs a break from his bespoke creations, Will organises....
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Alex, Owner, Buster McGee

Meet Alex, the owner and founder of Buster McGee clothing, located on Hepburn’s lesser known Howe street. Alex moved to Hepburn Springs in 2018 after leaving his job at a large media company in Sydney, and decided to use his experience in digital media and marketing to found Buster McGee, which sells men’s clothing and grooming products. Buster McGee was born out of Alex’s love for fashion, and he focuses on providing awesome customer service and sourcing great products. Hepburn Springs’ local community is vital to Alex’s, and so many other businesses in the area, particularly in the lead up to the Christmas, and Alex says his locals keep him grounded and encourage him to lift the bar. Even better, they’ve been wearing the store’s purchases around town and posting pictures and stories on social media to help spread the word. Alex, along with so many of his local businesses,....
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David and Lee, Owners, Sheridan Blinds and Awnings

Meet the Macedon Ranges’ long-time locals, David and Lee Sheridan. The couple have made Riddells Creek their home and have lived in the Macedon Ranges for the last 23 years. Their business, Sheridan Blinds and Awnings is their community’s go-to place for blind installation, and they’ve been passionate about supporting their local community for the past 15 years that they have been in business locally. David and Lee started off by designing and building kitchens, laundries, and bathrooms independently for their locals. Eventually their stellar work was noticed, and their friend asked them to help with his Blind and Curtain business. Before they knew it, David and Lee were asked to take on the business for the Melbourne area, and it has now become their main business which they love. As with everyone, COVID has been difficult for the couple. At the beginning they were still fulfilling orders and trying....
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