My Geelong

Ingrid Sutherland at Archive Wine Bar. (Louisa Jones) 210853_01

Wine bar owner Ingrid Sutherland speaks to Luke Voogt about supporting businesses through COVID-19 and the connections keeping her and others “sane”.

Tell us about you.

I’m 46 and I live in South Geelong with my husband Graham and our two girls, Eve and Mae.

I run two businesses with Graham, Archive Wine Bar and Geelong Wine School, both in Belmont.

What’s your connection to Geelong?

We moved to Geelong from Brisbane about five years ago because we were looking for a change.

Ever since we arrived, Geelong has impressed us with the atmosphere of the city centre, the beautiful waterfront and all the great restaurants and bars.

How are you involved with Business in Heels?

I met Lisa Sweeney from Business in Heels a few years ago when she organised a Kris Kringle for the network at Archive.

I was immediately struck by the support and community within the network and began to get involved.

Listening to other businesswomen’s experiences really informed some key decisions I made for my own businesses, particularly with finding a work-life balance.

The connections we have made help us stay sane in times like COVID-19, when suddenly we’re home-schooling our children and providing emotional support to staff, while adapting our businesses to lockdown.

How did you get involved in wine?

Graham and I have been working with wine for many years both at the retail and wholesale levels.

It’s probably a common dream to open a wine bar and we were able to make our dream a reality.

We heard there was a real thirst for wine knowledge amongst our customers, so we opened Geelong Wine School.

What are your favourite things to do in Geelong?

We love to eat out as often as possible these days because we understand how critical that support is to small businesses like ours during this pandemic.

Our favourite cafe for a family breakfast is Hey Porter in Highton and for dinner we love to go to Chinatown Dumpling in Belmont, both owned and run by local families like us.

We also took advantage of opportunities to get our favourite ‘dine-out’ meals at home to help restaurants unable to trade properly due to social distancing restrictions.

We want all these places to still be there at the end of this pandemic.

What are you looking forward to once COVID-19 is over?

We’re really looking forward to seeing family in Queensland when we can.

We had to cancel our trip up there for these school holidays, so I am really looking forward to sharing a nice wine with my family while watching all the kids play together.

What’s something about you that people might not know?

I was a little baby living in Darwin with my mum and dad during Cyclone Tracy.

The roof was blown off our house and my mum and dad put me under the sheets on their bed and lay on top to keep me safe.

My mum and I evacuated to Adelaide before flying to Sydney where my dad’s parents lived.

Apparently there was a photo of me with a woman from the Salvation Army at the airport after evacuation that appeared on the Adelaide White Pages.

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