Spotlight on businesses doing it differently

We're showcasing different businesses and how they are adapting and innovating to cope with social distancing measures and keep working. 

If you're a Greater Geelong business person doing things differently and you'd like to share your story, email us at [email protected].

No need to duck out

The talented team at events and catering business, Truffleduck have introduced 'No Need to Duck Out' takeaway packs, featuring family size meals, desserts, snacks and sweets plus alcohol available for pickup or local delivery.

You can also 'Duck In' to their Fyansford base from 7:00am to 12:00pm from Monday to Friday for takeaway drive through and walk-up for coffee and snacks.

These great initiatives adapt to the challenging environment we all find ourselves in. Truffleduck’s eating-in at home menus are a sell out and have enabled this well-established local business to keep their staff employed when their usual operations have been put on hold.

Order online from Truffleduck or call 03 5229 7503.

Potato Shed has Friday arvo entertainment sorted

Being clever and creative is in the Potato Shed’s DNA. With the 2020 theatre season cancelled, the Shed joined forces with local business Bellarine AV to switch to livestreaming and the Bird Bath Cam Sessions were born – Friday afternoon gigs with a livestream of the Shed’s courtyard bird bath with programmed performance soundtracks.

So far, Bird Bath Cam has featured local brother and sister duo James and Elena Nicholls, The Gems and Joseph Stanaway, and special guests Damon Smith and Dave Cosma will perform from 22 May 2020.

Bird Bath Cam is a great example of businesses working together for an innovative outcome that creates opportunities for local artists.

Visit the Potato Shed for the full program and links to the livestream, and put the ‘yay’ into your Friday.

Let Geelong Arts Centre entertain you

The Geelong Arts Centre team have transformed their creative offering while social distancing keeps us at home. They have your Friday nights in May covered with live streamed gigs from 8:00pm.

Pop, cabaret and music theatre feature in the line-up of local stars taking to the stage for your at-home viewing pleasure. Dolly Diamond kicked off the programming, followed by Bert & Rob’s Love Songs, Taylor Henderson, Amanda Harrison and Jessie Lloyd slated to make Friday nights in May 2020 a time to remember.

The month-long digital programming is a part of the #WhereCreativityMeetsAtHome initiative – entertainment to be shared with you and yours in the comfort of your own home.

Visit the Geelong Arts Centre and join the fun.

Taste the Bellarine's best ... at home

There’s no need to miss out on delicious local food and wine because of social distancing measures.

Passionate foodies Jason Smith and Sarah Fenton from Bellarine Smokehouse have teamed up with local artisan producers, growers and providers to create Bellarine Boxes, delivering the best of our region direct to your home. Lovingly curated with Bellarine Smokehouse’s trademark dedication to sustainable, premium quality local produce, Bellarine Boxes are available in a range of sizes and prices.

The collaborative approach offers a fantastic option for food-lovers from far and wide to support artisan producers when they need it most. Experience the best local produce without leaving the house.

Check out the options and order online.

Innovative Geelong osteopath offers online therapy option

With over a decade of clinical experience, Geelong osteopath Daniel Wood is dedicated to maximising wellbeing for his patients.

To minimise risk to the community Daniel made the difficult decision to temporarily close his practice for face to face consultations – but he was able to adapt his business to keep providing osteopathy consultations online. Daniel’s practice is now open again for face to face consultations, but he’s still offering online consultations to all patients as well, so people can choose the option that works best for them.

Daniel has also introduced online forms for new patient information and consent, enhanced cleaning procedures and increased time between face to face consultations.

Book an online or face to face osteopathy consultation or call 03 5222 3838.

Front yard photography for loved ones

Central Geelong photography business, HandZaround Video & Photography, are bringing their creative talents to your driveway to capture unique images of Geelong families during isolation.

Unable to conduct regular photo or video shoots with current restrictions, HandZaround hit the road with ‘Geelong Drive Through Photos’.

Book a drive through session with Handzaround Video & Photography to capture photos of you and your family, housemates, dog, or whoever you live with, in your front yard. The service abides by social distancing restrictions.

Learn more about photo/video shoot options.

Traditional Italian cooking in your dining room!

Popular Little Malop Street restaurant Caruggi have transformed their authentic Italian restaurant into an Italian Enoteca offering homemade pasta, sauces and meals ready for you to heat up for dinner.

You can also pick up your favourite bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal.

If you're feeling like something a little lighter or sweeter Caruggi Enoteca are also selling a range of antipasti and desserts.

From Thursday to Saturday between 5:00pm and 8:00pm they are heating up the woodfire oven for takeaway pizzas. Like many Central Geelong businesses, Caruggi have adapted quickly to change their offering and to provide their delicious Italian cuisine online.

Caruggi Enoteca is open from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Order by phone on 03 5229 6426 or visit the Caruggi website.

Art at home with Pinot & Picasso

New to Central Geelong this year, Pinot & Picasso were offering a unique art class experience.

Not letting restrictions hold them back, they got creative with how to continue delivering their service to customers. Enter the ‘ArtBox’. This creative isolation kit comes complete with all the art supplies needed to attend a virtual art class.

Order an ArtBox online for home delivery, then tune into one of their live art classes and enjoy Pinot & Picasso from the comfort of your lounge room, craft room, kitchen table or wherever you like to create.

Order an ArtBox or find out more.

Get your dancing shoes...

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes were abruptly shut but the team at Piano Bar Geelong held the door, albeit virtual door, ajar to the masses.

Since isolation began, they’ve been live streaming their nightly performances to their Facebook audience. Requests are the order of the day as people at home are entertained by the likes of Andy Pobjoy, Joss Russell, Shandelle McGennisken and Adam Giles.

Aaron Skinner, Managing Director of Piano Bar, said that since starting these live streams the performances had reached more than 280,000 people. Transitioning their business during COVID-19 has seen the business grow in exposure and what they do, up 4,000 followers to over 20,000.

Head on over to the Piano Bar’s Facebook page at 7:30pm nightly for the live performances and request your favourite song.

Pace helping businesses transition to online

The creative team from Pace Advertising has been helping other Geelong businesses switch to an online model, working with several businesses to change their service delivery from physical shop-fronts to 'online-only' models.

Pace Advertising has the technical know-how to assist businesses move online, ensuring customers can access products and services using online platforms for sales, one-on-one video consultations or over the phone expert advice.

Pace is offering advice, support and a range of other services to Geelong businesses looking to creatively switch their offer to an online model. Get in touch with them on 03 5273 4777 or email at [email protected].

Gourmet ice cream home delivered

Boutique ice cream store, Miss Gina Gelato, has adapted to bring ice cream straight to your door, using their gelato van to turn their physical store into a moving one.

Now offering home delivery to the Bellarine on Thursday and the Geelong region on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and weekly menu changes, customers can order via direct message on social media.

Miss Gina Gelato is continuing to adapt and develop, selling hot cross cones for Easter, ANZAC biscuits over the ANZAC weekend and ice cream cakes for home isolation celebrations, and the new delivery service has been so popular that they've added new suburbs to their delivery area.

Find out more and order your ice cream on Miss Gina Gelato's Facebook page

'Sea all' with virtual dolphin dives

While the team at Sea All Dolphin Swims in Queenscliff haven’t been able to get out on the water, swim with dolphins and seals, ogle intriguing Australasian gannets and explore Port Phillip Bay, they’ve put their knowledge, passion and interest in the water, the wildlife and our beautiful region into making Dolphin Watch TV.

Each week Sea All Dolphin Swims have been uploading a new episode of Dolphin Watch TV to Facebook. The episodes are quick bites of information on things like dolphin and seal behaviours, why dolphins swim in the bow, the unique Rip, and much more.

Head to the Sea All Dolphin Swims Facebook page to learn about the ocean and its wildlife from home.

Two peas in a (visitor) pod

Nothing compares to seeing your loved ones, even if you can’t physically embrace them. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS) in Geelong created an innovative ‘Live Visitor Pod’ so that relatives can visit their loved ones face-to-face.

The MACS Live Visitor Pod is a converted shipping container complete with furniture, heating and cooling. Through the smart use of perspex glass panels and cleaning protocols, the Visitor Pod allows families to visit their loved ones in person while respecting current social distancing guidelines.

The pod will be open seven days a week for 20 minute appointments, and two people can visit at any one time to protect MACS residents’ health and wellbeing. Call MACS directly on 1300 622 778 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, to make a Live Visitor Pod booking.

Buying books from The Book Bird

The Book Bird bookshop is nestled in Pakington Village. When the Coronavirus hit, the team at The Book Bird bookshop  felt compelled to provide a level of service unmatched by algorithms, even though they knew it might be quicker to order books online during lockdown.

Customers heeded the call to get in touch and order direct, payments were taken remotely, and books were delivered in the local area by vintage pushbike. For those with a quick request, The Book Bird team set up a ‘drive-thru bookshop’ at the door, with all books, cards and puzzles available to takeaway.

With restrictions easing, The Book Bird team have set up the Book Nook, a small section of their Pakington Village store where two people can browse at a time. Find out more about The Book Bird

It's all go at Café GO

Felicia, Stephen and the team at Café GO transitioned immediately to a new normal when COVID-19 interrupted business as usual, quickly switching from their bustling indoor by the fire and outdoor alfresco courtyard on-site dining areas to a takeaway and much sought-after delivery service.

'Café GO on the GO' delivers chef-crafted home-style meals all over Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, with weekly specials announced on Instagram. Spoil yourself and your loved ones with some of Café GO's favourites ... think borek, pies, lasagne, freekeh salad, chicken tikka curry, sweet treats and more.

Café GO's home-style takeaway and deliveries have been flying out the door and they're still open during their normal trading hours (Monday to Friday 7:00am to 4:00pm, Saturday 8:00am to 4:00pm) with a full deli fridge and daily specials. Find out more on the Cafe GO website.

Backyard business goes international

The COVID-19 cabaret and variety scene is partly held together by an arts-based business broadcasting from a backyard shed in Corio.

Every Saturday night, interactive online cabaret Varietyville dials in guest acts from the national and international variety and cabaret circuit to create an online TV-style variety show delivered via Zoom. You can appear on or interact with the show in real time.

As well as their weekly shows, Varietyville now have a number of other online gigs booked on Zoom, including a Children's Theatre Festival. Varietyville is a perfect example of a local arts business adapting it’s business model to COVID-19 conditions. Find out more on the Varietyville website.

Talking drinks with 18th Amendment

The 18th Amendment Bar is reminiscent of the speakeasy bars of the 1920s and 30s prohibition era, when it was illegal to consume, sell or bootleg alcohol. We’ve been prohibited from going out and consuming alcohol onsite but Gorge Camorra and the award-winning team at The 18th Amendment Bar have created their own Youtube channel, 'Let’s Talk Drinks'.

Featuring reviews, cocktail making tutorials, bartending tips and more, Let's Talk Drinks will have you whipping up classic cocktails like a champion mixologist. The 18th Amendment team are also offering virtual masterclasses on their Facebook page ... but be quick, these sessions sell out in no time.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 3 June 2020