The closure of clubs, pubs, cafes and restaurants due to COVID-19 restrictions has been tough on their owners and staff, but many on Bribie Island are seeing this as a chance to try new things and it’s paying off.
The club’s Social Café has remained open, adapting the way they operate to serve customers while adhering to the restrictions.
Marketing manager Cloe Einam says the amazing team has seen this as an opportunity to grow, learn and experiment.
“We are constantly brainstorming and having discussions about how we can keep the doors open to the community in one way or another,” she says.
The menu at Social Café changes each day and the team recently introduced Social. EATS. It’s the latest food movement to hit Bribie, offering a new food theme each week for customers to pick up or have delivered.
“Every Friday and Saturday from 11am-8pm we celebrate and indulge in a new pop-up foodie culture, Mexican, American or German, for example,” Cloe explains.
There’s free delivery from 5-8pm on Fridays and Saturdays for orders over $30 to Bribie Island and Sandstone Point.
Phone 3400 1350 to order, and keep an eye on their Social. EATS. Facebook event for this week’s theme
There’s also ready-to-heat meals and snack pack options which have been popular with essential workers and older residents on the Island.
“We are extremely lucky. Our members have been fabulous during this time and have shown us overwhelming support. We have received Facebook messages, emails and hand-delivered cards with members showing us their gratitude and support,” Cloe says.
Social Café is open Monday to Thursday from 6am-3pm, Friday and Saturday from 6am-8pm and Sunday from 6-11am. The bottle shop is open Monday to Thursday 10am-3pm, and Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm. It’s closed on Sunday.
Owners Rachael and Joe have also changed the way they do things at their café and Italian restaurant, which operated side-by-side before COVID-19 restrictions came into force.
“We’re trying to adapt as we go along, because we’re right on the marina, we don’t get a lot of walk-through traffic,” Rachael says.
So, they are working with that they have, opening late afternoon into the evening and relying on a loyal customer base who’s proudly supporting what they’re doing.
“They’ve been extremely vocal in their support and that they love the food. They just keep coming back and we’re into our fifth week now. At least once a week we see all our regulars, so we think we’re doing something right,” Rachel says.
They’ve always offered a take-away service but have expanded the menu, and now also deliver. Dinner is available Thursday to Monday from 5-8pm.
Rachael and Joe have merged their ordering platform from the two businesses to make it easier for customers to order what they want from the menu. It’s perfect for families – one person can have pizza, another can have a burger and someone else can enjoy a curry.
Adding curries to the menu has been a big hit and they make the pastes themselves.
“It’s something that we love. It’s a really positive thing for us to be able to do this,” Rachael says.
Some of the changes are definitely here to stay and they may add a curry room when diners can be welcomed back.
Dock N Dine + Ignite by Dockside deliver to Bribie Island, Sandstone Point, and Ningi (up to the Peel Rd turn-off). Delivery is $5 or $10 depending on the distance, with all money given to the driver to cover their expenses.
To order, visit the Ignite by Dockside website or phone 5220 0690
Tamara Noll is working long hours to not only keep her business going in these tough times, but to also provide delicious and healthy meals to residents in her community who need them.
She’s the owner of 2 Sisters Deli Café at Bellara, and since COVID-19 changed the world, she’s been starting her day at 2am.
Tamara has created a menu of ‘seniors-sized meals’, which she’s selling for just $5 (+ $3.50 for dessert if wanted).
“They are priced so they’re affordable for the seniors on a limited budget and are also available to anyone who wants to buy them. They’re also the perfect size for a work lunch,” Tamara explains.
She’s creating meals that appeal to seniors but are also nutritious and full of flavour. There’s a range of options each day, catering to varying tastes and dietary options
And Tamara starts her day early, so she can prepare and deliver the meals herself.
“I really miss being able to chat with my customers in the shop, but now I get to have a quick chat when I deliver meals,” she says.
“It has been a challenge at times to obtain ingredients to make meals, even to get milk to make takeaway coffees, but you improvise and substitute ingredients. You have to be creative
“I went this path of change to be able to help our community with affordable meals, take pressure off places like Meals on Wheels and I also hoped it might enable me to stay open as long as possible in the ever-changing environment.”
The deli café is surrounded by other businesses and medical facilities, which Tamara says makes her feel like she’s part of a ‘big family’.
“Everyone has been so supportive. I’ve been making family meals for workers in the complex which is a win, win. They get a night off cooking and I get income to pay my bills. It has been long hours - most days are 16-hour days, but to me it’s worth it.”
Tamara says customers love what she’s doing and are telling their friends.
“I’m loving being able to be creative also, with dishes like my Thai salmon croquettes and pistachio cranberry meatloaf which are both very popular,” she says.
“I have been asked by a lot of people if I will continue to offer the meals for sale (post-coronavirus) and I think I will. This whole situation has been so challenging in so many ways, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new direction my business can move forward in the future.”
The meals change each day and are posted on the 2 Sisters Deli Café Facebook page. Customers can text, Facebook message or phone orders in on 3408 8485. Meals can be collected from the shop or delivered for no extra cost.