DOUGLAS business owners are working together to reach new markets and add value to their offering as the region looks to persevere through the COVID-19 economic downturn.
Many small businesses are stocking more locally made goods and providing extra services, such as takeaway and delivery, to push through the next few months, which traditionally sees strong tourist visitation.
The Buy Douglas: Build Douglas campaign will inspire residents to ‘Do It In Douglas’ and support local businesses.
Beechwoods Café, located in Mossman, has adapted their business to takeaway food only.
Owner Sharon Beechey said she has replaced a void left by packed away tables and chairs with several displays of locally made goods.
“We now stock products from The Soap Shed, Karla’s Kandles, Leonie’s Natural Remedies and Perfume in Port. We even have plants for sale – orchids and bromeliads from Randall Lieschke,” she said.
“It’s good for us, and it’s good for local artisans who, with the closure of the Port Douglas markets, are looking for outlets for their products.”
Another example is Hook-a-Barra, a barramundi farm and tourism enterprise located at Wonga Beach, who is teaming up with Barramundi Gardens in Julatten to market gourmet barramundi spring rolls.
Scomazzon Farming, located at Miallo north of Mossman, has become increasingly popular among Douglas Shire residents searching for local produce.
Proving that collaboration is the key for small businesses, they now also stock breads and baked goods from Grant Street Kitchen, homemade pasta from Pasta e Vino and Dukes Doughnuts.
Owner Luigi Scomazzon said he was more than happy to stock products from local manufacturers to do whatever he can to help.
Luigi said the closure of the Port Douglas markets impacted his fruit and vegetable sales.
“The church was happy for us to keep our stall at Mossman under the Raintrees, but I chose not to because we have young staff and I didn’t want to risk their health,” he said.
“At the farm shop, we have put up signs, distance markers on the floor and have sanitiser for customers. The shop is travelling okay – although sales are up one day, and down the next.
“We are just doing the best we can.”
Scomazzon Farming is family-run serving locals, directly through the Mossman Markets.
The four generations of Scomazzons have provided locals with the best locally sourced produce available.
Zinc restaurant, located on Macrossan Street in Port Douglas, is offering restaurant quality takeaway and delivery services via its website and mobile phone app.
Owner Chris Bower said Zinc Restaurant would continue to develop and diversify.
“Support local, shop local and help us get through this challenging time,” he said.
“Positively, we have transformed our business model into a full takeaway and home delivery service.
“I have learnt a lot and I think we will take some very positive aspects into our future model.”
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