These two Beaufort business owners are celebrating regional business growth and a passion for artisan creations at a turning point in both their journeys.
Michael Unwin, owner of Michael Unwin Wines, is preparing to move out of his iconic Beaufort shed after the property sold at auction earlier this month. Owner of Lemlex Joinery Johan Debast is preparing to move in.
While settlement date for the property is June 28, the pair who have known each other for eight years have come to a mutual agreement.
Mr Unwin will continue to rent the shed until the end of the year when a new winery at his Cardigan property is due to be completed. That will give Mr Debast time to move in to the new workshop during the Christmas break.
We have been bursting at the seems for some time.Michael Unwin
For both moving their business is the next step in their journey of business growth. Mr Unwin has outgrown the Beaufort shed and Mr Debast is restricted in his Willoby Street workshop.
"We have outgrown this space. We have been bursting at the seems for some time," Mr Unwin said.
"We are on track to have about 12 acres of vines at Cardigan now and we will have the luxury of producing most of our grapes at the doorstep of our winery."
Mr Debast said he was looking to expand his joinery business to produce more kitchens, bathrooms, furniture and other products.
"I have a few of these big furniture items stored away. If I can have them out the front advertised for people to come in to have a look it might help us do more solid timber furniture," he said.
"Even without the solid timber furniture I had to move to a bigger shed. Especially when I have a few staff members, we are tripping over each others feet."
One challenge Mr Debast faces in plans to expand is securing suitable and dedicated staff.
"I have been advertising for over a year. It is hard to get anyone committed to doing joinery in Beaufort," he said.
The Department of Jobs and Small Business has identified joinery as an occupational skills shortage.
For both Mr Debast and Mr Unwin, their business' development stems from a passion for creating quality products and a desire to work doing what they love in their home town.
Mr Debast moved to Lexton from Belgium in 2005. He started Lemlex joinery in 2008 in a shed on his property after feeling dissatisfied with his job options in Beaufort and Ballarat and a desire to be creative in his work.
"I wasn't super confident I could do it but you have got to have a crack," he said.
"It was a bit of a risk but you have got to start somewhere and give it a go."
Mr Unwin started Michael Unwin Wines in 2000 from a factory in Ararat before buying and building the Beaufort property in 2004.