It's service with a big smile as businesses re-open – Canberra CityNews

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IT’S been a tough few months for Canberra businesses trying to navigate the woes of lockdown, but as we head to Christmas, many are again able to open their doors to serve the community with fully stocked shelves and welcoming faces.
To celebrate, “CityNews” spoke with a variety of businesses who are excited to be open again…

YARD Card is a new way to celebrate and spread joy for all special occasions, says owner Geoff Lang.
Geoff says he was inspired to bring Yard Card to Canberra after seeing its popularity in the US grow online.
“The recent lockdown inspired me to launch the business, to bring fun, creativity and joy to people,” says Geoff.
With large, corflute “cards” available for all types of occasions from birthdays to graduations, anniversaries to new babies, Geoff works with customers to customise the wording and colour schemes and then deliver and set it up in a customer’s front yard at the time of their choosing.
Geoff says Yard Cards work well as a surprise, bringing fun and happiness to the recipient.
“I had one customer tell me it was the best birthday surprise he had ever received!” says Geoff.
Geoff says that his website offers great inspiration ideas for the designs and he enjoys working with his customers to create the perfect yard card.
“You can choose how many days you want the card to be in your yard for and we will collect it when the celebration is over. We do all the work, you just sit back and enjoy the smiles!” says Geoff.
Visit or call 0435 765794.

HAVING started operations in 2008, Scooter Hut’s journey over the last 13 years has positioned it as the Scooter experts, says national retail operations manager Daniel Abbott.
Stocking brands such as InMotion, eGlide, Segway Ninebot, Kaabo, Evolve Skateboards and Vivid Hoverboards, Daniel says the Scooter Hut team can help customers choose the perfect product for them.
“Our staff are a diverse mix of people that consist of pro-riders, scooter enthusiasts, tech specialists and retail experts, all of whom unite to help our customers to choose the right scooter or accessory according to their specific needs,” says Daniel.
“Backed up by our excellent customer service provided by world-class professionals with the best knowledge in the industry, [we’re] here for all your freestyle and electric scooter needs.”
With flat-rate, worldwide shipping and a range of products including protective gear, parts, apparel and accessories, Daniel says Scooter Hut has the largest range at the best price.
“Currently, we have 11 retail stores all with fully equipped service centres around Australia, along with our online website, Queensland-based customer service team and a range of different sales channels for our customers,” says Daniel.
Scooter Hut, Shop 2/31 Nettlefold Street, Belconnen. Call 6176 0565, email [email protected], visit or search ScooterHut on Instagram and Facebook.

THE birds are back and ready to interact at the Canberra Walk-in Aviary, says owner and manager Mick Logan.
Although they’ll be operating under some covid restrictions, Mick says Canberrans are now able to get up close and personal with more than 500 native and exotic birds representing more than 60 different species.
“Regents, princess parrots, superb parrots, cockatiels, lorikeets, doves, quails, even silkie bantams are just some of the species people can get close to,” says Mick.
“In the wild there are some birds like king parrots and crimson rosellas, which can be quite tame and interactive, but the closest you could get is a couple of metres,” he says.
“Here though, the birds will land on you and take food right from your hand!”
Mick says that upon entry every visitor gets a small plate of food to take in with them to feed the birds.
“It’s great fun for all ages,” says Mick. “We’ve had newborns visit the aviary all the way up to a 101 year-old.
“Some people like to visit for about 30 minutes, others sit for hours enjoying the atmosphere.”
He says the surrounding Gold Creek Village has plenty of other attractions to enjoy including cafes and gift shops. “Come to the aviary and make a day of it in Gold Creek Village,” he says.
Canberra Walk-in Aviary, Unit 13, Federation Square, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls. Call 6230 2044 or visit

COOL Country Natives owner, Karen Brien, worked in construction until six and a half years ago, when she bought an office with a few tables of plants out the front.
“I changed it and it just kept growing, it just got bigger and bigger and I actually didn’t think it would turn into this,” she says.
Today, it’s become a nursery stocking hundreds of different species of plants.
During lockdown, Karen wrote a list of species up on her website to keep customers updated on what’s available.
“There were in excess of 750 on that list,” she says.
“It’s grevillea season, they’re flowering; westringias are flowering, all the daisies are flowering, phebalium, prostanthera and eremophila, they’re all flowering and it’s not too late for planting.
The amount of stock, and the variety in species has grown along with her.
“Even if you’ve got these plants sitting on a shelf that are all the same species, they will have different forms and it’s a personal choice,” says Karen.
“People can get stuff from us that they can’t get anywhere else.”
Cool Country Natives, 5A Beltana Road, Pialligo. Call 6257 6666, email [email protected] or visit
LEAD emergency response specialist Alex Robertson says that Ferst Training Solutions focuses on giving people the skills and knowledge they need to deal with a range of emergencies.
“Our emergency response training covers a wide range of threats and challenges such as fire evacuations, internal and external emergencies, active armed intruders and protests or riots,” says Alex.
“We train anyone from education facilities, public institutions and local or federal government workplaces,” he says.
“Being a local family-run business, we bring localised knowledge of areas and facilities,” he says.
Alex says that Ferst prides itself on being embedded in the emergency response team and is available to clients 24/7.
“We also have a risk-management specialist to provide highly qualified, specialist, risk-management advice and services,” he says.
Alex says that Ferst has released a suite of online accredited and non-accredited training courses in addition to its onsite workplace training programs and encourages people to contact Ferst to book into the right training for their needs.
Ferst Training Solutions. Visit or call 1300 333778.
SANDY Borgo, the owner of Charlie & Chums, has got pet and Australian-themed Christmas stock ready in store.
“I’ve got Bristlebrush Christmas hanging ornaments and I’m getting more in soon. They’re little Australiana ones, so there’s kangaroos, koalas and kookaburras and platypus with little Christmas hats, and magpies, echidnas and emus are on the way,” says Sandy.
She says she also has “beautiful, big glass ornaments,” in four different styles, ones with dogs, ones with cats, ones with bones and ones with paws.
For pets, Sandy has Christmas stockings to fill with gifts and treats for little furry friends, as well as a collar combo of antlers and bells.
“I’ve got a Christmas selection now, and the usual lovely little things in here,” she says.
Charlie & Chums, Shop 1, 103 South Point, Tuggeranong. Call 0402 097580, email [email protected] or visit
KIDSTART Southside Education and Activity Centre understands that the first five years of a child’s life are crucial for development, says owner Kristen O’Connor.
“Kidstart offers classes for children from five months to five years of age to develop them socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually,” she says. Operating since 1996 and located in Wanniassa, Kristen says Kidstart offers three distinct and age-appropriate programs to ignite in kids a love of learning. This includes a “pre-preschool” program for children to attend by themselves in the year before preschool.
“It focuses on literacy skills, social skills and all round school readiness so that children can thrive in a school format,” says Kristen.
Kidstart is proud to have welcomed their 21st class of three-year-olds into the program. “It has been amazing to see 21 years worth of three-year-old Kidstart kids and their families growing, loving, enjoying and benefitting from the program,” says Kristen.
“We are passionate about developing a love of learning in each and every child.
“By allowing them to thrive in an educational setting and experience the joy in exploring and achieving, we hope learning will be a lifelong passion for all our Kidstart kids.”
Enrolments are open for Kidstart Southside Education and Activity Centre, 65 Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa. For enquiries visit or call 0422 406622.

OWNER of Timberland Furniture Tony Purdy says he’s looking forward to people coming in and seeing what’s on offer, and it’s cheap!
“We’ve got to clear a lot, a lot of our floor stock is discounted because our floor space is much smaller,” he says.
There are bedroom settings, dining room suites, TV units, lounge room settings, coffee tables and lounges ready to go at the new location.
“When we say half price, we mean half price,” says Tony.
He is welcoming in friendly faces, excited to be open again and ready to get back to business.
“People won’t buy our furniture online, you have to see it and touch it to judge whether or not it’s good value,” says Tony.
Timberland Furniture, 100 Barrier Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 7411, email [email protected] or visit
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