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How a Newcastle business is adapting in uncertain times

16/04/2020

O’Neills Mobile Coffee has expanded their local service despite the challenges of COVID-19.

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For the last two years, the O’Neill’s have been growing their family-run mobile coffee business across the Newcastle and Hunter region.

Like many other small businesses, they had a backup plan in place for quieter times, but never anticipated having their entire livelihood turned upside down as a result of COVID-19.

“The last few weeks started off extremely daunting, not knowing if by the next hour we would still be able to operate,” O’Neills Mobile Coffee Owner, Kylie, said.

“Watching some of our friends and other local businesses forced into closure was not only fueling our own fears, but was extremely upsetting to see people we know who have worked so hard to build what they have, have it taken away from them for the foreseeable future.”

Despite the uncertainty, Kylie and her husband have been able to adapt with their resources at hand by expanding their local services within the Cameron Park area.

“With all events and gatherings being cancelled, we now serve from our trailer stationed at IGA Cameron Park all week and during the weekend, but our saving grace has really been the support we have received for our new home delivery throughout Cameron Park and the surrounds,” Kylie said.

“We could never have predicted the incredible support we’ve received, but our local community has gotten behind us 100% and we cannot thank them enough.”

To help instill positivity throughout the local community and beyond, the O’Neills have also adopted the Pay-It-Forward scheme, where people can pay in advance for someone else’s coffee.

“This is something we were considering doing for a long time and it’s really taken off. When someone receives a free coffee from a complete stranger, it puts a smile on their face in these trying times and that’s our main aim, to keep the positive vibes going,” Kylie said.

While they are currently taking each day at a time, Kylie said their main focus for the next few months is to continue being there for their local community and essential workers.

“We want to do our part to help however we can, whether coffee is involved or not, because times like these call for everyone to lend a hand in whatever way possible,” Kylie said.

“Our business manager at Newcastle Permanent has outlined our options for the future if anything changes, which is extremely reassuring to hear in such uncertain times. Having that personal support makes owning and managing a family-run business that much easier.”

 

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