This month we catch up with Kev & Lowanna from Kombu about the year that was and exciting future plans
Has COVID affected Kombu and have there been any positives?
Kev: We’ve actually been much busier this year than ever before. It’s not something we take for granted and we really feel for everyone out there who is doing it hard, but so far the problem for us is getting enough produce and stock into store – and that’s a great problem to have.
Why do you think it’s been busier for you?
Lowanna: Perhaps the threat of contracting the virus led to subtle changes in customer spending. With the reduced lifestyle choices available to us all, weekly grocery spending may have increased for some households. Likewise, individual online research may have led to food-based health suggestions to boost the immune system in preparation for either exposure to, or contraction of the virus.
What’s been happening in the Kombu world?
Lowanna: With Bellingen Solar vacating the rear warehouse, the opportunity presented for us to utilise a little more storage space. The flexibility to purchase food in larger quantities will not only lower our food miles, but will also create increased affordability for our customers. This expansion will also potentially provide further employment for other residents of our shire!
Kev: I think a combination of bushfires and COVID has also brought about a wider realisation of how important local really is. Supporting local and regional stores not only ensures a thriving CBD and local economy, but it also provides a heap of other benefits. For example a couple of the Kombu team are active members of the Rural Fire Service. Working locally means that they can respond quickly to everything from car crashes to bushfires to assisting the ambos. We all know the environmental and social benefits of purchasing locally, but with the store purchasing as much as possible from local growers and regional food suppliers we’ve also avoided the bigger COVID-related disruptions in supply. In a world that is increasingly disrupted, local really is coming back into its own, with benefits for everyone – and it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of it!
Kombu Wholefoods, 1 Church St Bellingen