Business in Docklands - August 2012
01 Aug 2012
Sales are hot for Snowbird Frozen Yoghurt
Docklanders have rapidly warmed to the idea of frozen yoghurt.
Scott and Beth Wheatley realised it was a bit risky to start up a frozen yoghurt outlet in mid winter, but circumstances led to a July opening.
Following a flurry of last-minute preparations at their Victoria Harbour shop, Scott briefly opened the doors at 10pm on a Saturday evening, and the first customers – Frankie and David - came in at 10.01pm.
It has since been a steady stream of office workers and residents, keen to try something new and healthy.
Molly-Ann Hay, 8, was another of Snowbird’s first customers, and has been back several times with mum Rosemary.
Living close by in the Merchant apartment building, there are likely to be many more visits to try new flavours as they come on stream.
Beth and Scott’s mum, Jenny, have been busy designing Snowbird’s take-away items, which they have tentatively named Snowdrops, Mini-cones, Rocherpops and Yogopops.
Beth and Jenny are continually experimenting with different flavours and combinations.
Scott is enjoying his role as the official “taster”. But he has also kept busy ensuring that the four “help yourself” frozen yoghurt pump stations are topped up and flowing properly.
Each pump station has several dispensers, presently offering lemon, strawberry, chocolate, biscuit, and the “Rocher twins” - white and dark chocolate.
The idea is simple: You grab a tub from the wall dispenser, and fill ‘er up with the flavour of your choice, adorn it with toppings ranging from confectionery to fresh fruit, and then pay according to weight.
“The average price is $5 to $6,” Scott said.
“We will be changing the flavours regularly. At the moment, both the white and dark Rocher chocolate flavours are the most popular.
“I will add some exotic flavours, such as Baileys, tiramisu, pomegranate and blood orange.”
Beth and Jenny prepare the fruit toppings every morning, and Jenny has whipped up her special home-made hot fudge and hot caramel. Thick Italian hot chocolate and parfaits are also on offer.
“We are getting a good combination of office workers during the day, and residents coming down from the apartments in the evening,” Scott said.
Scott and Beth chose frozen yoghurt after noticing the success of several franchises in Beth’s homeland, the United States.
“Beth liked the taste and, though I was hesitant at the time, she convinced me to try it,” Scott said.
“I’d never realised how similar the taste is to ordinary ice-cream, but with without anywhere near the same amount of fat or sugar.
“There’s a big health trend here in Australia, so we thought it would go well here.
“We chose Docklands because it needed a healthy option to the sweet take-aways.
“Victoria Harbour is very much up and coming. I hear complaints about Docklands but plenty of new businesses are opening up here. Residential towers are being built, so the future looks good.
“It’s only the lack of car parking, especially on weekends, that’s a hindrance. Car parking should be free on weekends, as an incentive for people to come here.”
Big or small, tax is their business
Be it a simple tax return or a complex company re-structuring, Docklands’ Tax Aid can look after your accountancy needs.
Colin Linke, a partner at Bentley Partners, which acquired Tax Aid last year, focuses on business strategy. But he is surrounded by agents, who are doing local residents’ and workers’ tax returns.
“We specialise in strategy, starting from doing basic tax returns through to full-on company structuring,” Mr Linke says.
“The biggest part of our practice is looking after businesses – from start-up right through to multi-nationals.”
Mr Linke reiterates the practice’s website message: “With the already proven skills of the existing Bentley Partners team we are excited to add the deep taxation experience of the Tax Aid team.
The combined business can now offer you every form of tax return, tax planning and ATO compliance requirement.”
Mr Linke, who grew up in Melbourne’s west and studied accountancy at RMIT, says Tax Aid’s tax agents are flat out at this time of year, doing returns for clients but will always accommodate new clients.
He says the tax laws change every year.
“The government is not giving as much money back this financial year, which is even more reason to see a tax specialist such as us,” Mr Linke says.
“We are local, conveniently located on Bourke St, near Etihad Stadium, and we are not expensive.”
Mr Linke says Tax Aid “rolls out a whole communications strategy each year to keep our clients updated”.
“Our tax agents have an average of 20 years experience in doing tax returns.”
They can also help you with trusts, superannuation funds, rental properties, overseas income, pension implications and annuity management.
As their website emphasises, it pays to organise your tax at the start of any investment.
“All your investments need to be viewed from a tax angle also. So before you start buying, selling, altering any of your investments give us a call, let’s do the tax planning upfront.
“Trying to adjust investments or divestments after the fact can be extremely complex and costly when you consider the tax.”
Bentley Partners’ strategy specialist Colin Linke at their Tax Aid office in Docklands.
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