This week we are introducing you to Hollie and Hayden, the small business owners of Ingrained Cultures which is a beer delivery and brewery tour small business in Wodonga NSW.
Ingrained Cultures’ Beer Club is perfect for people who love to try the newest, freshest craft beer. The best High Country beers can be delivered straight to customers doors every month so they can explore new flavours. Hollie and Hayden also run two different tours, the High Country Brewery Tour and the Mixed Artisan Tour. This is an opportunity for tourists to experience the vast selection of beers the High Country region has to offer.
Last year these small business owners faced setbacks including the summer bushfires that effected their stock and the COVID 19 pandemic which effected the local tourist population. Hollie and Hayden have found a way to overcome these challenges and they are proud and excited to have been able to create an opportunity to showcase the craft beer that is unique to the Wodonga and Albury region.
“Just the fact that we were able to start the business itself is such an achievement. We were able to create something that benefits the local community and local businesses, and we have been able to connect people to this area and showcase the district.”
We chatted with Hollie about their small business journey so far.
Meet Hollie & Hayden
Our business is called Ingrained Culture. We run tours and we have just started a beer club in the last few months. The beer that we use is just from the High Country region and every month or quarter people can sign up to get beer delivered to their door anywhere in Australia. We started in November 2019 but unfortunately last year things were very quiet for us because of the bushfires at the beginning of the year and then COVID19. So we have only really been able to do a lot of sales since November 2020. We were not directly affected by the bushfires, but some of the breweries we work with were.
Hayden had this business idea for a while but didn’t know how to implement it. Tracey, our Many Rivers business coach, was interested in our idea and so we met up with her and it went from there. Hayden is a floor layer by trade but at that time we were both working casually in hospitality and we didn’t have a lot of money behind us. We weren’t so sure how much money we would need to get our idea off the ground. Tracey was great with budgeting and planning everything. We do not have a physical store and we rent a bus when we have tours, so the main money we had to invest into the business was towards the website development and a few things like that.
We made contact with Many Rivers right at the start of our business journey. Hayden went to a small business event and met Tracey. She had a stall at this event.
Why did you want to go into business?
Hayden really enjoyed drinking craft beer and there isn’t much of a presence of it in Wodonga and Albury. It sparked an idea because he was interested in the beer and we had settled in the area recently. We were thinking of starting our own business but were not really sure what to do and that was the first idea that popped into his head! Through Tracey we have got in contact with all the different breweries and now we have established relationships with them. They were obviously very happy for us to be starting the business because it benefits them too.
Now Hayden has gone back to doing floor laying and I work on this business myself from home. Things are taking off again finally.
Working With Many Rivers
At the very start, Tracey helped with cashflow and helping us make decisions about what we would invest money in. She also suggested people in the area that could help us. It was a lot of financial stuff to make sure the business started off in the right directions and giving us tips like to open a joint business account.
She was quite involved for the first year of us getting started, now she checks in every few months to see how we are going. She is still helping us with accounting and things like that. Tracey also referred us on to Many Rivers pro bono legal support. They helped us develop our partnership agreements.
I honestly don’t think we would be where we are and it would have taken us a lot longer to workout what we were doing without Tracey and Many Rivers guiding us. I think the cashflow management and all of those kind of things were really the most helpful. Tracey helped us work out numbers and even what we should price our tours at.
As we had never been in business before, it was all the small things that were such a learning curve. Even now I feel like we are learning new things every day. You can’t plan everything that happens. As much as we can plan ahead we could never plan for the bushfires and for COVID19. With the beer club service, it was an idea that we had had from the start but we weren’t sure when we were going to bring it in. We had a plan to just start off with the tours and see how successful it is. Then with COVID19 we decided to bring it forward because online sales became such big thing. I guess that is a positive that came out of something bad.
Just the fact that we were able to start the business itself is such an achievement. We were able to create something that benefits the local community and local businesses, and we have been able to connect people to this area and showcase the district. Not many people realise how good the beers are and how many breweries there are! The beer is fantastic, and we want to try and show it off to Melbourne and Sydney. Most of our market is not local. The tours are often tourists and most of the beer boxes we send go to Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra. Our target market is people in the city who might come here for a holiday or its just a new region of beer for them to explore. We are trying to build up sales within the local community but that has been a little bit harder to break into.
Working from home and being your own boss means that you have to have strong time management and organisation skills. I haven’t done this before. There is lots of learning and you have to make structure for your day.
But on the other side of this, it has allowed us to do a bit of local travel because I can work from my laptop and Hayden does contracts, so he doesn’t have to work all of the time. We can go on holiday at the last minute or move around a little bit. It has given us the flexibility to explore. This was always kind of the goal. To run a business that isn’t fixed to one location.
Future Goals For Ingrained Culture
At the moment the main focus is to spread word about the beer club. We would love to get more people involved and spread the word with the local community as well.
There is a beer festival in Albury and we would love to run one in Wodonga with all of the local small businesses. This is something that we would like to work towards over the next year or two – to run a beer festival and showcase to locals and people in Melbourne and regional Victoria how good the beer in this region really is.
Thanks Hollie and Hayden
Thanks Hollie and Hayden for sharing your business journey so far. We are excited to be joining you on this journey as it continues.
We love to encourage more people to take the first step towards kick starting their small businesses ideas.
Do you want to make your small business dreams a reality? We’re here to support you the whole way.
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If you loved this client story and would like to read another, take a look at Clara and her traditional and contemporary art small business, Lundilimara.