The Business of Family

FAMILY BUSINESSES EMBRACING SEASONAL DIVERSIFICATION AS A GROWTH STRATEGY

Making a seasonal business into a year-round success isn’t easy. Especially for family businesses, where they’re less likely to embrace diversification as a growth strategy. But while some family businesses might be reluctant, others have seen great success by thinking outside the box. 

Here we shine the light on three family businesses who have embraced creative ways to secure new revenue streams, provide activity during the off season, and still stay true to their brand values and ethos. 

FROM FRESH CHERRIES TO DELICIOUS JUICES

CherryHill, based in Victoria, Australia sells delicious fresh cherries to stores across Australia and Asia. The company’s story began in 1940 when George Riseborough planted his first cherry trees in the fertile Yarra Valley. Over 75 years later, the Riseborough family still proudly carry on this cherry growing tradition.

The cherry season however, is extremely short – just 14 weeks of the year. To make sure their business was sustainable all year round, the family introduced a selection of cherry beverages including cherry wine, cherry cider, and a delicious non-alcoholic spritzer called Cherish. 

The beverages have allowed the family business to diversify into a new sector, make the most of their plentiful bounty of cherries, and ensure a consistent income stream throughout the year. 

@cherryhill_orchards

FROM GARDEN CENTRE TO WINTER WONDERLAND

Garden centres are big businesses in the UK. Unless you’ve visited one it can be hard to describe. It’s not just a place to buy plants, flowers, and everything you need for a beautiful garden. Garden centres are often full tourist destinations in their own right featuring cafes, farm shops, children’s play areas, entertainment and activity programs.

Over 123 years ago, the Self family moved to Whitehall Farm, in Lacock, England. In 1970 the family opened what is now known as Whitehall Garden Centres. Now a fourth generation family business, the company has mastered the art of seasonal diversification. 

Although primarily a summer destination, the family have introduced a range of winter activities to ensure footfall 365 days a year. This includes the installation of a full temporary ice-rink, a winter ice rink cafe, Santa, reindeer feeding, and a pop-up Christmas shop. The ice rink is even available for private hire, opening up extra revenue through corporate and private events. 

FROM ICE CREAM TO FINE DINING

Gelato Messina is an Australian institution. Founded in 2002 in Darlinghurst, Sydney by Nick Palumbo, Messina makes gelato from scratch with homemade ingredients crafted by their in-house chefs. 

These are no ordinary flavours either with a delicious selection of regulars and surprising daily specials. Now with 12 stores across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and ACT, Nick’s brother Danny Palumbo took over front of house in 2004. 

But how does a business that sells ice cream survive in the winter? It’s safe to say that Messina is a bit of a cult favourite, so no matter what the weather, Messina has its dedicated fans. But the company has introduced a range of options including cakes, ice-cream making classes, corporate hire for team building, and even a fine dining option with a gelato-inspired eight course degustation. 

Do you know any family businesses that have embraced seasonal diversification? Let us know on Instagram or email us.

Words: Brooke Nolan
Photography: @cherryhill_orchards, @gelatomessina

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