Enzo Hunter Valley say thanks to Peter Drayton
Like all hospitality operators, on Sunday 22 March Mel and David (aka Pug) received the news that they would be needing to shut the doors to their business, that being Enzo Hunter Valley. The duo started the business way back in 1996 and over that time Enzo's has gone on to become a Hunter Valley institution. For those of you who have visited the gorgeous café at Peppers Creek or had the team cater your wedding or event, you will understand why.
The news obviously came as a massive blow to both Mel, Pug and their team, chatting to Mel she described the extraordinary situation with which they were faced with,
“On Sunday morning we sat 200 people for breakfast, then on Monday at noon, we were gone.
It was surreal and not something we’ve experienced before, as a business owner we’re used to riding the wave of business, but this is new territory for all of us.”
“We had around 20 full time and casual staff that we’ve had to let go, which was really tough, we’re like a family. We’d just bought $3,000 worth of meat prior to the closure so we handed that all our to the staff on the last day. Pug has been checking in on the team regularly to make sure they’re ok and staying positive. Pug has been amazing, he’s been our rock.”
With the prospect of having to let go of staff and pay rent on two separate venues their future seemed incredibly uncertain. However, one phone call would change all of this, Mel explained,
"Pug called Pete Drayton (of Peter Drayton Wines and Ironbark Hill Brewhouse) who is the landlord of where our Enzo Weddings business is based out of, to talk about what deal could be put in place for rent... Pete just stopped him in his tracks and said I don't want any deal, just stop paying... for 6 months."
“Peter has been amazing, it’s the true Aussie spirit. We weren’t sure what was going to happen, but it was just nothing to him, I emailed saying thank you and he said you need to stop it, it’s ok. It blew us out of the water, he’s a legend.”
"The thing with Peter, because he’s such a humble man, I wanted people to be aware of what he did and give him a shout out, and encourage people to go and order some of his WINE or BEER as a thank you."
Life certainly looks very different now but we’re staying positive, it’s all you can do. At the moment we’re using this downtime to focus on getting jobs done that we didn’t have the time to get done before. Making ourselves stronger as a business and getting things in place, like getting Instagram set up properly.
I truly believe everyone that we’ve had to stand down we’ll get them back. We are all in this together, it might be difficult to do at this point but you have to believe that at the end and we’ll get through this.
Pug and I still believe we should still be working on the business five days a week so as to not get into any bad habits, exercising and eating healthy. Not cracking the wine until 5pm [laughs].