What Kristen Combridge would give for a crystal ball right now

Published on 15 September 2021

The spread of COVID-19 proved to be a triple-whammy for the small business owner, who was operating an events and
activations business and a wedding styling company when the pandemic hit in March.

Not only that, but she and husband Tristan had just opened The Captain & Crew café and restaurant in Marks Point, catering
to the growing demand in east Lake Mac for high-quality eateries.

 Captain & Crew cafe.jpg

“COVID thoroughly destroyed our plans and as a brand new business it was nearly enough to force our permanent closure,”
Kristen says.

“It really halted our momentum and stopped the connection we were trying to build with our local community.”

The couple switched the café to a takeaway-only business model, which had its own challenges, then in June opened with
limited capacity to allow for social distancing.

“Who knows where to from here. We’re hopeful that there won’t be a return to more stringent restrictions and we can keep
seating customers over the summer months,” Kristen says.

“We would love to keep connecting with new and existing customers, build on our all-day trade Friday to Sunday and keep
offering a casual vibe for anyone to gather with their crew.”

Despite the challenges, Kristen says she’s happy to be in Lake Macquarie.

“Lake Mac has to be one of the best spots in NSW. Access to the beaches and lake make for an active, entertaining lifestyle,”
she says.

“There is a lot of local business potential, and it’s not too far from the Sydney market either.”

 Captain & Crew food.jpg

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