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Local business champions
  • Last updated:
  • 23 Oct 2020

Sunshine Coast Council’s Local Business Champions series was developed to inspire business confidence and win back consumer trust. These are key themes of the Economic Resurgence Plan.

The series acknowledges local business efforts, including COVID-19 recovery ideas; changes in business model, and inspiring stories from local business.

Tell us your story at:

  • Stalwart Brewing Company

    The Stalwart story began when Adam Tomlinson, founder and brewer, travelled with his wife Donna to the United States. On a brewery tour of the Deschutes Brewery, Adam was amazed by the size of the production facility and the quality of beer. Upon leaving Adam proclaimed, “One day I will do something like this in Australia”.

    Adam began researching the science, art forms and wonders of brewing beer. Soon he was brewing his first batch of kit beer. After a couple of years of brewing with malt extracts Adam progressed to an all grain brewing level with a dream of brewing on a professional level. After receiving a positive response from brewing tasty batches of pale, golden, cream, amber, scotch and dark ales, Adam decided it was time to embark on the journey of opening his own brewery. That quest happened in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown. He sought advice from council and opened Stalwart in Nambour on 18 July 2020.

    Learn more about Adam’s story.

  • Kenilworth Dairies

    Bottling milk was a lifetime goal for Kenilworth Dairies. That goal became reality in 2020 and Kenilworth Dairies milk is now available at IGAs and independents across the Sunshine Coast. Kenilworth has grown since 2017 when they were part of Council's ‘Flavours of the Sunshine Coast’ regional showcase at Brisbane’s South Bank and ‘Flavours of the Sunshine Coast’ Fine Food in Sydney in 2017. Kenilworth is continuing to innovate and adapt to the changes under COVID-19. 

    Learn more about Kenilworth Dairies and read their COVID-19 story.

  • Zone RV

    ZONE RV’s supply chain was impacted by COVID-19 due to parts coming from international suppliers. To allow for delays, ZONE RV adjusted its manufacturing schedule and introduced the new Base Series appealing to a wider ‘caravan cruising’ audience. They did not scale back on marketing and advertising activities, sending a clear message that they were open for business. The sales team continued to have meetings and factory tours with interested caravan buyers - albeit by Zoom and Facetime. As such their production schedule is fully booked until June 2021.

    Flexibility and communication were vital to the success of the company. Commencing in 2015 with 3 staff, ZONE RV’s world-class innovation, design and techniques have set a new benchmark for caravan manufacturing standards in Australia. This has resulted in rapid growth, with 106 staff currently working at ZONE RV.

    Learn more about ZONE RV.

  • Ozzi Kleen

    Ozzi Kleen’s Containerised Transportable Wastewater Treatment Plant helped the Suqian Infectious Disease Hospital, approximately 700km north-east of Wuhan disinfect its wastewater to limit the spread of COVID-19. Ozzi Kleen’s plant provided an extra disinfection process to remove the risk of the virus leaving the hospital via liquid waste streams. A local Chinese team was guided through the installation process remotely via WeChat with the help of a translator.

    Ozzi Kleen began exporting to China under a $9 billion China Ministry for Environment program. The program aims to reduce wastewater impacts on farmlands, channels and the underground water table in rural areas without adequate sewerage treatment processes. An initial system was shipped to China in late December 2019 but had not yet been installed when the COVID-19 outbreak started. The system was reconfigured to deal with the infectious waste at the specialist hospital, which was last used during the SARS outbreak 17 years ago.

    Learn more about Ozzi Kleen.


  • Saltwater Eco Tours
    Local Saltwater man Simon Thornalley has combined his passion for the ocean, Indigenous culture and extensive maritime experience into a unique tourism venture on the Sunshine Coast. Launched in early 2020, Saltwater Eco Tours focuses on sustainable tourism and providing authentic experiences aboard the 100-year-old timber vessel Spray of the Coral Coast based in Mooloolaba.

    Simon, a young First Nations man of Torres Strait Island descent, was born on the Sunshine Coast and introduced to sailing by his parents who were world class sailors and adventurers. He continued his passion through commercial diving, maritime operations and being a skipper. This love of the ocean inspired his vision to establish an eco-tourism business which he developed in consultation with the Kabi Kabi peoples to share their culture and wisdom of the Sunshine Coast’s ecological diversity. Simon’s advice to other businesses is: Never give up and stay true to your own vision. 

    Learn more about Saltwater Eco Tours.