In this sponsored post, “CityNews” speaks to the businesses getting their doors back open with fully stocked shelves and welcoming faces.
IT’S been a tough few months for Canberra businesses trying to navigate the woes of lockdown, but as we head to Christmas, many are again able to open their doors to serve the community with fully stocked shelves and welcoming faces.
To celebrate, “CityNews” spoke with a variety of businesses who are excited to be open again…
Reconnect through travel
Jamison Travel has designed “luxury” tours for clients as travel restrictions ease, says owner Michelle Everson.
“I’m looking forward to people coming back in to start planning their holidays,” she says.
There are two Sydney packages with premier seating, luxury coach travel, 4.5 star accommodation, and a harbour cruise meal – so “Phantom of the Opera” at the Opera House or Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” musical at the Capitol Theatre?
The third tour is the “experience of a lifetime” in Tasmania.
To begin, there will be a tasting tour of Bruny Island, savouring local oysters, cheeses and wine, then embark on a panoramic cruise along Freycinet’s Wineglass Bay. Visit World heritage-listed national parks to see ancient rainforests, glacial-carved lakes and furry locals, while staying in legendary lodges. The final course is a spectacular cruise across the serene Gordon River, “providing the perfect end to an unforgettable Tasmanian holiday.”
E-scooters and bikes are selling fast
COMING out of lockdown, owner of Cookies Cycles David Cook says he’s got a great range of electric scooters and electric bikes ready for Christmas.
“We’re very glad to be fully back up and running,” says David, who’s backed with over 35 years of industry experience.
“We’ve got the leading brands in e-scooters, electric bikes, normal scooters and much more on the floor and we recommend getting in quick, because we’re already selling out fast.”
David opened the store in 2015 to “cater for the family cyclist” and says he and the team pride themselves on their in-depth knowledge of the products and their parts.
That expertise is transferred into the store’s fully equipped workshop, which David says offers services and repairs.
“We back up and service all products that we sell with our large range of parts and accessories for all products we sell,” he says.
With Canberrans getting back out and about as lockdown ends, bookings for bike repairs are filling up fast and David recommends calling ahead to get a spot.
Protective and energy efficient window tinting
DIAMOND Tints is committed to supplying Canberra with one of the best automotive window films on the market, says owner Jason Taylor.
“We’re a family owned business, providing a professional service with top quality automotive window tinting for Canberra and surrounds,” he says.
“We pride ourselves on our experienced, friendly and professional service.”
Jason says there are heaps of benefits to window tints that many people might not initially realise.
“There’s privacy, 99 per cent UV protection, safety and we offer lifetime warranty,” he says.
“Our film will significantly improve your vehicle energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and glare, as well as enhancing overall aesthetics.”
Having operated in Canberra since 2015, Jason says he and the team are thrilled to be back open again after the easing of covid restrictions.
“We are so happy to be back after weeks of shutdown, seeing all our customers again and being able to contribute to our wonderful community,” he says.
Get close to friendly, free-flying birds
THE birds are back and ready to interact at the Canberra Walk-in Aviary, says owner and manager Mick Logan.
Although they’ll be operating under some covid restrictions, Mick says Canberrans are now able to get up close and personal with more than 500 native and exotic birds representing more than 60 different species.
“Regents, princess parrots, superb parrots, cockatiels, lorikeets, doves, quails, even silkie bantams are just some of the species people can get close to,” says Mick.
“In the wild there are some birds like king parrots and crimson rosellas, which can be quite tame and interactive, but the closest you could get is a couple of metres,” he says.
“Here though, the birds will land on you and take food right from your hand!”
Mick says that upon entry every visitor gets a small plate of food to take in with them to feed the birds.
The aviary also provides heaps of photo opportunities, with visitors always snapping great pictures with the brightly coloured locals, he says.
“It’s great fun for all ages,” says Mick. “We’ve had newborns visit the aviary all the way up to a 101-year-old.
“Some people like to visit for about 30 minutes, others sit for hours enjoying the atmosphere.”
He says the surrounding Gold Creek Village has plenty of other attractions to enjoy including cafes and gift shops. “Come to the aviary and make a day of it in Gold Creek Village,” he says.
Canberra Walk-in Aviary, Unit 13, Federation Square, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls. Call 6230 2044 or visit canberrawalkinaviary.com.au
Get a bite of Brisbane’s ‘best burgers’
“WHY can’t you have the best coffee and the best burger you’ve ever had in the same place?” asked the owner of Lucky Shot with BZ Burgers Paul Eldridge a few years ago.
Having just opened another store in Belconnen, he says he’s tried to give Canberrans an answer to that question: “you can”.
Paul has brought a series of “speciality” burger recipes to Canberra from Benz on Miller in Queensland, which won the award for Brisbane’s best burgers last year in “The Courier-Mail’s” annual poll.
“I had two bites of one of these burgers and I immediately thought I needed to bring them to Canberra,” says Paul.
“They’re meticulously made here by our trained chefs and will blow you out of the park.”
Paul says just some of the range includes a classic cheeseburger, a crowd-favourite fried chicken burger called “The Hick”, and a bacon and egg roll that many have told him is “the best they’ve ever had”.
One of their newest burgers is called the “Sweet Baby Jeebus” and is dunked in a “maple wild turkey glaze” which he says gives a “unique and sweet taste”.
But Paul says it’s not just burgers they specialise in.
“We use specialty coffee beans from the Sydney-based Pablo and Rusty – a brand who source the most delicious beans in the most sustainable way possible,” he says.
“We also have a range of thick shakes and milkshakes like chocolate, rocky road, caramel and more, each with syrup made here in-store.”
Lucky Shot with BZ Burgers, Hardwick Crescent, Holt and Grazier Lane, Belconnen. Call 0417 783292 for BZ burgers, 0409 200206 for Lucky Shot or search BZ Burgers on Instagram.
Cycling organisation to host an ‘epic’ challenge
CANBERRA’S oldest and largest cycling organisation Pedal Power is excited to be hosting their “Fitz’s Challenge” event in December – an epic 250-kilometre ride around the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, says CEO Ian Ross.
“It’s one of the few events in Canberra to survive the pandemic, and with the borders now open just in time we’re welcoming vaccinated people to come join us at this covid-safe event,” says Ian.
“We have rides around the nature reserve ranging from 50 kilometres all the way up to 250 kilometres – our longest and most extreme challenge.”
But whether you’re an expert rider taking on the challenge or someone who’s never ridden a bike before, Ian says Pedal Power has lessons and events for anyone keen to go for a ride.
“Research shows just swapping your car out for a bike a couple of times a week can make a fundamental difference to your health,” he says.
“That includes reducing the risk of cancer, extending your lifespan and it’s great for your mental health.
“It’s also a great thing for the environment – every kilometre you ride on a bike is a little bit less carbon in the atmosphere.”
Keen to see Canberrans back out riding again, Ian also says Pedal Power is offering a 20 per cent discount on new memberships.
Pedal Power, call 6248 7995, visit pedalpower.org.au or search Pedal Power ACT on Facebook or Instagram.
Tailored emergency response plans
FERST Training Solutions provides emergency response training and services and a range of security and risk management services in Canberra and Southern NSW.
Alex Robertson has been an emergency response specialist with Ferst for six years.
“The main thing for me is being able to help organisations ensure that they’ve got the best plans and practices in place to keep their people safe,” he says.
He explains the difference between Ferst and other, similar companies is that Ferst is a small, family owned business that allows them to provide services quicker and more tailored to the client’s needs.
“A lot of people come to us because they’ve been with a national company and the company hasn’t been able to provide relevant information and can’t get on site quick enough,” says Alex.
Ferst Training Solutions. Visit ferst.com.au or call 1300 333778.
Happiness is… a big, bright yard card
YARD Card is a new way to celebrate and spread joy for all special occasions, says owner Geoff Lang.
Geoff says he was inspired to bring Yard Card to Canberra after seeing its popularity in the US grow online.
“The recent lockdown inspired me to launch the business, to bring fun, creativity and joy to people,” says Geoff.
With large, corflute “cards” available for all types of occasions from birthdays to graduations, anniversaries to new babies, Geoff works with customers to customise the wording and colour schemes and then deliver and set it up in a customer’s front yard at the time of their choosing.
Geoff says Yard Cards work well as a surprise, bringing fun and happiness to the recipient.
“I had one customer tell me it was the best birthday surprise he had ever received!” says Geoff.
Geoff says that his website offers great inspiration ideas for the designs and he enjoys working with his customers to create the perfect yard card.
“You can choose how many days you want the card to be in your yard for and we will collect it when the celebration is over. We do all the work, you just sit back and enjoy the smiles!” says Geoff.
Big sale at furniture store
OWNER of Timberland Furniture Tony Purdy says he’s looking forward to people coming in and seeing what’s on offer, and it’s cheap!
“We’ve got to clear a lot. A lot of our floor stock is discounted because our floor space is much smaller,” he says.
There are bedroom settings, dining room suites, TV units, lounge room settings, coffee tables and lounges ready to go at the new location.
“When we say half price, we mean half price,” says Tony.
He is welcoming in friendly faces, excited to be open again and ready to get back to business.
“People won’t buy our furniture online, you have to see it and touch it to judge whether or not it’s good value,” says Tony.
Market day returns to nursery
Karen Brien, owner of Cool Country Natives, says she’s excited to start hosting market days again.
Before covid, the market days were happening eight times a year, four in spring and four in autumn.
“We usually have five different growers. They come on to our site and sell their own products and customers can talk to and buy directly from the grower,” she says.
The first market day is on December 4, the next isn’t until February.
“Normally it’s quiet because it’s hot and dry, but we’ve had so much rain and it’s been pretty mild. We haven’t had one for all of lockdown so it should be quite a good day, and there will be people around,” says Karen.
“I didn’t think they were going to happen again until February but the growers are keen to come in December.”
The one-stop, expert electric-scooter shop
STOCKING only the best, most recognisable and most quality brands in the market, Scooter Hut is the one-stop scooter shop, says national retail operations manager Daniel Abbott.
Having operated in Canberra since 2008, Scooter Hut now has 11 stores around Australia, all with fully equipped service centres, including one in Belconnen.
“Our staff is a diverse mix of people that consists of pro-riders, scooter enthusiasts, tech specialists, and retail experts, all of which unite to help our customers to choose the right scooter or accessory,” says Daniel.
“Backed up by our excellent customer service provided by world-class professionals with the best knowledge in the industry, [we’re] here for all your freestyle and electric scooter needs.”
Daniel says the store has a wide range of products that includes protective gear, parts, apparel and accessories and even the world’s number one electric scooter: the Inmotion ‘Lemotion’ S1.
“The innovative features, speed, range and competitive price has positioned it within the space of only a few months as one of the best electric scooters in the market,” he says.
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