So I just realized that its been over 2 years since I last wrote a blog piece. WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO? I honestly question the quickness that time passes now that i’m older. Who remembers how slow it went as a child? Now weeks pass as quick as days and years? In a blink of an eye they say.
Now where did I leave you all? It was August 2019, we were coming up to 12 months in Denmark and on the farm and our 2 year old had become a mighty threenager. We managed to make our house livable in time for the festive season. Booking out the chalet we were living in was a good motivating driver to make us move out. We also sold out of our first batch of natural cider within a few months! This definitely became an area we wanted to expand.
In November we had our first family holiday since moving, my best friends wedding in Sydney saw us shut up shop and spend a well earned 2 week break away.
Before we knew it it was back to the grind, but the world was about to change. First we saw the biggest fires that have impacted Australia. Which those in the wine industry know influenced the whole country as many eastern states wineries looked to WA growers putting even more pressure on a high demand industry.
Our second summer was busier, with more visitors through the cellar door and the prospect of a great year ahead. We started putting plans in place to expand our wine and cider production. Then there were whispers……. a new disease…… Coronavirus……… COVID19.
In Denmark what was happening overseas seemed far away. We were still busy, February was booked out we had what looked like a busy march and april ahead before what is usually a quieter winter. But then on the 21st of February 2020 we had our first positive case in WA and within 2 weeks a global pandemic was declared. We watched from afar as our world began to change, by the end of the month we had cancellations of all our bookings through the chalets and business went to zero. For the next 6 weeks from the end of March to end of April we sat and waited, like so many others, to see what would happen.
We had to decide whether to go ahead with all our business plans or put them on hold. One big difference about our industry is that we make product now to sell in 12 months. If we stopped we would be feeling the impact for years so what were we to do? We put our house on hold and put priority on our business. We had some long term travellers call our chalets home when the regions closed and they had no where to go. We had an amazing couple from France help renovate a chalet and they were there crushing our first batch of apples, into the night, in the cold as our first batch of cider was produced for 2020.
But then the unexpected happened again. The boarder with Perth reopened at the end of May and our chalets were completely booked out. Cabin fever had hit and people were fleeing Perth in droves. If this pandemic has taught us one thing is that our business is reliant on people travelling from Perth.
The next 6 months flew again past in a blur. We have never been so busy. The silver lining of COVID has definitely been felt.
We did however lose our beautiful cellar dog Sunny.
The new year brought more changes, we continued to grow as a business. As a family, we have grown too. Little Bodhi joined us this year in August as a little brother for Indy. This meant we pulled the breaks off our house and started construction again in March.
We also have 2 fulltime staff, both young and full of energy. Its onwards from here. Lets see if it takes me another 2 years to write again.