Lake House welcome grant and reopening

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The Lake House Denmark has received a State Government grant.
Camera IconThe Lake House Denmark has received a State Government grant.

Great Southern wineries are reopening their doors to the public as the lifting of regional travel bans and gathering restrictions gives them hope ahead of winter.

The Lake House Denmark, which reopened its restaurant yesterday, has received a State Government grant of $8000 to boost its brand.

The wine and vinofood producer was the only recipient from the Great Southern region in the first round of the Department of Primary industries and Regional Development’s agrifood and beverage voucher program.

The program is available to small to medium enterprises who are value adding to the State’s raw agricultural produce, in a bid to increase business and overcome challenges.

The Lake House Denmark chief executive Leanne Rogers said they applied for the grant to help with marketing before the pandemic.

“Now with what has happened with COVID-19, any spare money is being used to keep the business going,” she said.

“While marketing, positioning and branding is important, we are just trying to keep our heads above water, keep the property and staff, and have the restaurant open.”

Garry Capelli and Leanne Rogers at Lake House.
Camera IconGarry Capelli and Leanne Rogers at Lake House. Credit: Clarissa Phillips/The West Australian, Clarissa Phillips

Ms Rogers said they would use the funding to branch out into a wider market in the Eastern States and overseas.

“This will help us engage someone to do this. We can get a professional designer who has good strategy and branding expertise,” she said.

Ms Rogers said she was excited to have people back through the door this weekend.

“Our main hit was obviously the restaurant, the cellar door and no tourists coming down because in the wine industry we are really in the tourism business,” she said.

“We had just gone through picking the grapes for the vintage so we still had to process them and you can’t just stop. You have all your costs involved in growing grapes and then you can’t sell the wine, so it all becomes a bit backlogged. There will be some small wineries that won’t be able to do the next vintage because you have to pay for it all before you sell anything.”

She said that DPIRD have been a great help to the business, providing workshops and sharing industry relevant information to help them stay afloat and grow.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the McGowan Government is working with regional communities and primary industries across the food supply chain to maximise recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

"This type of support will be even more important given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the regions,” she said.

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