Lisa Britzman and David Peck, Campo de Flori, Huon Valley
In the Huon Valley there is a 52-acre boutique farm that, like all farms, does not stop for pandemics. Garlic keeps growing. The lavender has to be harvested. Saffron is coming up and it’s ready to be picked. The olives will be ready soon.
“The major shock to us was closing our business for 2-3 months during the bushfires,” says Lisa Britzman of Campo de Flori. “The bushfires were personally more threatening, with potential loss of infrastructure and loss of life. We did experience the loss of crops. We were just at the point where we were feeling good about things again and business was just starting to look like it might pick up when this happened.”
Campo de Flori is an agri-tourism business, catering mostly to interstate and international visitors. Apart from olive oil, lavender, saffron and other delicious food Lisa and her partner, David Peck, operate a ceramics business.
They can no longer sell at their farm gate, and the boutiques and galleries that sell their ceramics are closed. But Lisa and David haven’t given up. They remain busy and determined to get through this and to emerge even better on the other side.
What was once a fledgling online shop is the core of their business at the moment. They’re on the new We Eat Local app. They are selling ceramic art locally, nationally, and internationally.
“If the past few weeks I have been selling online more than ever before,” says Lisa. “I’m making several trips a week to the post to send off orders.”
Lisa and David are taking this time to challenge themselves. “We have recently been accepted into the Cultivate program of Seedlab Tasmania,” says Lisa. “This is a great opportunity to have a hard look at our business with professional help and coaching to get us through this time and plan for the future.”
They are renovating and re-thinking, for when visitors return.
“During this pandemic it seems all kinds of help is available that I wasn’t aware of before, for small businesses,” said Lisa. “The design and small business communities seem to be well-connected and supportive, with social media, and offering lots of help and ways for us to keep selling. There’s lots of collaboration. Most importantly, I feel safe here.”