Spotlight on local business: Paper & Poppies

IMG_20140529_110154Last week Beach & Bay grabbed a cupcake (or three!) and had a chat with Ross from Paper & Poppies….

How long have you been open serving delicious treats in the Shire?
Paper & Poppies has existed for around 5-6 years now, however the business started solely as a cake design business with Weddings Cakes being the main focus. Over time this grew and developed – last year we began doing Market Stalls in Cronulla Mall on Saturdays or Sundays around special occasions (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Spring Fair etc). This was the first time that we had sold cupcakes/macaroons/cookies to the general public.

When did you open in Woolooware?
We decided to take the plunge and open a teahouse with our full range of goodies when we found the perfect place in November 2013. In early December we got the keys, did the fit out and opened on the 21st of that month, meaning Paper & Poppies has now been in its current format for nearly 7 months.

IMG_20140529_110231Where did the Paper & Poppies idea come from?
Initially, it came purely from Lizzie’s passion to cook. She would often cook goodies for events or for friends parties and as such became known as “the dessert” person! A friend then asked her to do her wedding cake, she said yes, and well the rest is history. It grew and developed from there – from a cake & hand made stationary business (hence the paper in the name) to a cake & tea shoppe that it is today.

You recently celebrated Cadbury Week in store, which flavour was the most popular?
Oh that’s a tough one – people always ask what’s most popular and it honestly depends on the day! In this case, it would be a toss-up between “Crunchie” & “Top Deck”.

IMG_20140529_110049Which variety of cupcakes, cakes, teas and/or treats are your best-sellers?
As per above question, it’s quite hard to narrow it down to the absolute favourites as it really does depend on the day! Of our regular treats our most popular would definitely be our Lemon Meringue Tart or Crème Brulee Tart, for cupcakes it’d be either the Salted Caramel Popcorn with the adults and the Persian Fairy Floss with the kids. Tea wise the good ol’ English Breaky is always popular, however the Apple, Cinnamon & Camomile is growing in popularity in our Herbal Range, and the Russian Caravan in our Black Tea Range, Monks Pear is probably the most popular Green Tea!

It is so good to see a good choice for those of us with special dietary requirements, your caramel iced gluten free cupcake is one of the best I’ve tasted, did you make a conscious effort to cater to this market?
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed! To answer your question though, absolutely. It’s something that both Lizzie and I are really passionate about and it’s an area of our business we hope to develop further. We always try to have some Gluten Free, Sugar Free & Vegan options available! We love seeing people enjoy what we make, and as such endeavour to ensure as many people as possible CAN actually do that.

IMG_20140529_110314If you had a food critic visit your store and you were asked to recommend one sweet treat from your menu what would you choose?
You love these hard questions! Probably our Vanilla Bean Cupcake because in it’s simplicity is the essence of a great cupcake.

Is there one day in the week where business spikes?
Definitely Friday/Saturday – end of the week and I think everyone deserves a treat after working so hard through the week!

What do you love most about your job?
Definitely the people. I genuinely believe we have the best customers and am stoked every day that I get to speak with them, learn a bit more about them and engage in genuine conversation. Without them, we wouldn’t have a business, and both Lizzie and I are extremely thankful for them!

IMG_20140529_110342What is your favourite place in Cronulla?
South Cronulla Beach  – awesome at sunrise, during the day or sunset. Favourite café would be Ham and restaurant would be The Old Library.

Finish this sentence – I Love Cronulla because…
It always feels like a holiday!

We found you on Instagram, do you also have a Facebook page?
We sure do! We actually had it before Instagram! Search for Paper & Poppies and we should pop up!

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The Real Estate Market in 2014

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

Last year saw real estate prices increase 10-15% in the Sutherland Shire after several tough years but this year the rapid increase in sale prices across Sydney has been so dramatic that I would estimate the price increase is already 10-15% for the 5 months of 2014, especially in the Sutherland Shire.  I do not think we have experienced this sort of price growth spurt since July 2003, when every house sold achieved a new record and properties for sale were in such short supply that people tended to buy first, then sell to avoid being without a home to go to.

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

It’s back to the days when pest and building inspectors are booked solid, most properties are being marketed as Auction, serious buyers need to attend the first open house if they want to secure the property and every TV channel has a show about renovating and selling!

Will this continue? Should we wait? Is this a bubble? These are the questions buyers keep asking me and I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that Sydneysiders are obsessed with real estate again, interest rates are low and there is a feeling of confidence again in the property sector. If only I had a crystal ball.

13 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

13 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

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Pre-Election Info & Real Estate Update

As we head into the final weeks of the election campaign and winter, real estate agents are madly trying to sell their auction listings prior to Election Day which is notoriously and traditionally a quiet day in real estate. This election also marks the beginning of the spring auction campaign but there is a marked drop in auctions scheduled. Ideally you select an auction date either side of the election weekend but this year it was particularly hard due to the political turmoil in Australia and the shifting dates, and some properties have been caught in the shifting dates. On the weekend prior to the election there are 13 auctions scheduled to go ahead in our area, whereas on Election Day there are only 7 currently up for auction. As is always the case the following week the auction numbers will pick up dramatically and this happens no matter if there is a change of government or if there is a status quo, for some reason buyers don’t feel the need so urgently to buy a house at auction on Election Day.

Most agents are looking forward to the election being over so we can list more properties because winter has been a period of very limited stock and lots of frustrated buyers combined with attractively low interest rate opportunities. We are hoping that Spring and an increase in political confidence and stability will trigger down to encourage vendors to sell. Most encouraging for vendors is that Winter 2013 has seen a dramatic rebound in prices across Sydney, in particular in the $700,000 – $1.3mil price range. Surely this will encourage vendors to sell!

Where to vote?

Polling places will be open for voting between 8am and 6pm on Saturday 7th September. The Cook electorate covers as far west as Bonnet Bay & Como, east of the train line at Sutherland, all suburbs north of the Hacking River (from Grays Point to Cronulla and all suburbs south of the Georges River & Botany Bay) as per the map below.

The polling booths below fall between Cronulla & Caringbah:

  • Uniting Church Hall – Cnr Burke Rd & Gosport St, Cronulla
  • Cronulla Public School – 18-24 Burraneer Bay Rd, Cronulla
  • St. Aloysius Primary School Cronulla – 18 Giddings Ave, Cronulla
  • Cronulla South Public School – 121 Ewos Pde, Cronulla
  • Cronulla High School – Captain Cook Drive, Cronulla
  • Woolooware Public School – Riverview Ave, Woolooware
  • Burraneer Bay Public School – 161 Burraneer Bay Rd, Burraneer
  • Lilli Pilli Public School – Turriell Bay Rd, Lilli Pilli
  • Caringbah Public School – Port Hacking Rd, Caringbah South
  • Laguna St Public School – 204 Caringbah Rd, Caringbah South
  • St. Philip’s Anglican Church Hall – 402 Port Hacking Rd, Caringbah
  • Caringbah High School – 85 Willarong Rd, Caringbah
  • Sutherland Hospital Clinic – Kingsway, Caringbah


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Real Estate Update – March 2013

The year has started with some fast and furious selling at Beach & Bay Realty, both auction campaigns in February were sold prior to auction over only 2 weeks and a private treaty sale went through in 5 days!

We seem to have started the year with more buyer inspections and a little more confidence than last year, this is reflective in the auction clearance rates Sydneywide for Feb and March which are much improved on 2012. We will continue to track the auction results in our area of expertise throughout 2013 so please join our e-newsletter for weekly updates of auction sales.

Breeze @ 19-21 Gerrale St, Cronulla

While interest rates are relatively low, we should continue to see a steady real estate market in the Sutherland Shire. It’s been a while since you could secure a fixed interest loan for 2 years for 4.99%!

We are currently marketing Breeze @ 19 -21 Gerrale St, Cronulla, Sammut Developments latest luxury project in Cronulla. Off the plan sales have commenced and for anyone wanting to secure an apartment in this development the opportunity is there now to put a deposit down with 2 years to save the rest!

Happy selling and happy buying in 2013.

SOLD PRIOR TO AUCTION - 15 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

SOLD PRIOR TO AUCTION - 12 Lowana Ave, Kirrawee

SOLD - 1/78-82 Kingsway, Cronulla


Apartment 102 - Breeze

Apartment 203 - Breeze

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Council Clean Up: New On Call Clean Up Service

Thanks to the Sutherland Shire Council, residents will no longer have to stockpile their materials for months under their homes, in the garages or backyards waiting for the biannual council clean up dates to come around.  As of 1st January 2013 Sutherland Shire residents will have the opportunity to request an on call clean up service twice each financial year.

The regular clean up schedule will run for the rest of this year.

This new initiative will:

  • Allow you to book a collection at a time that suits you twice each financial year
  • Have less visual impact on our street scape and reduce the time that materials are left out on kerbside to one day only
  • Increase recycling of clean up materials

You can book your clean up service from the 1st January 2013 online or over the phone (Clean Up hotline – 9710 5722). The type of booking you make will depend upon the type of dwelling you live in.

Houses and small apartments (6 units or less)
See here for collection instructions.

Large apartment complexes (7 or more units/villas/townhouses)
A clean up request for large apartment complexes is to be made through the complex’s designated spokesperson. See here for collection instructions.

Inaccessible and remote properties in the Shire
Unfortunately inaccessible and remote properties will not have access to the on-call clean up trial. See here for more details.

Similar to past council clean ups, the same rules apply for prohibited items – see here for materials that are accepted and those that are not.

Questions about the Clean Up? Contact Sutherland Shire Council on Facebook or by calling the clean up hotline on 9710 5722

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Spotlight on local business: Impressions Landscape – Design

How did you become involved with Impressions Landscape – Design? How did it all start and how long have you been established for?
Impressions Landscape – Design was established in 2003, by myself Adam McDonald and my business partner Adam Tanko.

We originally met while studying to gain our landscape trade qualifications. Both of us at the time were operating our own separate small businesses within the horticulture strain.

I was a qualified practicing landscape designer, operating a small business generating stylized residential landscape designs. Adam Tanko, a garden maintenance business focused at customer service and attention to detail.

Common goals and a genuine passion for the horticulture and landscaping industry is what drew the two of us to start Impressions Landscape – Design.

Both driven by a common vision to create stylish landscaping installations and an understanding of each other’s strengths. We decided to take the opportunity to form a company that could showcase all of this.

What type of services do you offer?
Impressions Landscape – Design’s approach as a ‘complete’ landscaping service provider is really what sets us apart. Our ‘one stop shop’ approach to design, construction and maintenance allows for a simplified and cohesive experience that guarantees total design integrity, and as a follow on to this total client satisfaction.

Our happy and highly skilled team of garden designers, landscape architects, structural landscaping construction specialists, tradesmen, horticulturists and gardeners are united and driven with their passion to provide a premium landscape service.

We specialize in complete project management of esteemed residential gardens, from garden design brief, to job completion and further more onto continual garden maintenance. We offer a variety of landscaping services, and make use of our own four-step process that ensures a garden that definitely will leave an Impression!

At Impressions Landscape – Design we understand the importance of the composition of both construction and horticulture, and the union that these two form which creates the art of garden making, and allows for truly inspirational outdoor spaces.


We hear you just won some awards at the 2012 AILDM National Landscape Awards, congratulations! What were they for?
Yes we are very proud and excited by this. We have just received the 2012 AILDM National Residential Design Award for Gardens $50,000-$150,000. We were also awarded a high commendation for Best Plantscape Design.

The Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers (AILDM) are the leading national industry body for the landscape design industry. The AILDM National Design Awards are presented annually and celebrate the exceptional quality of work being produced by the best landscape designers from across the country.

What is one of the biggest jobs you’ve been given? What was the budget?
We do jobs of all sizes when it comes to residential gardens. Generally our installations range from approximately $50,000 upwards for a smallish garden. Generally this is what it costs to implement a design-based garden. I would say the biggest project we have been involved with was a waterfront property in one particular Sutherland Shire suburb with a budget of $500,000.

Do you have any unique experiences from working in the great outdoors?
Working outdoors presents many challenges when dealing with the elements and Mother Nature. One that comes to mind is a very memorable encounter with Redback spiders on a waterfront property in Lilli Pilli. When excavating for a boat shed by hand, due to lack of access by machine. We uncovered an expansive underground Redback nest. With little protection we were left to carefully excavate the soil by shovel and mattock. During the dig we estimate we encountered approximately 300 Redback spiders. God knows how many went unseen!

The testimonials from your website come from Cronulla, Burraneer & Menai projects. Is most of your work based in the Shire or do you branch out across Sydney?
Yes. Currently I would say approximately 70% of our work is in the shire. We do like staying close to home! However we also quite regularly do work in the eastern suburbs, inner west, and on or close to Sydney Harbour. Shire clients are always the friendliest however!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing a design job come to realization at completion. To add to this further seeing a project evolving over time through our strategic professional garden maintenance services also. Gardens breathe life and are constantly maturing. Seeing a garden changing, adapting and evolving as the seasons go by and the plantings age. This is very interesting and rewarding, and is a story in itself. A lot of passion goes into our work so it is a special moment when you get to see the finished product and it appears as or better than you first expected. Seeing a happy clients overwhelming joy on the back of job completion is also a very very special moment and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

What is your biggest challenge?
Finding enough hours in the day!

Finish this sentence, I love Cronulla because…
It has it all! Great people, excellent beaches, beautiful waterways, national parks, good food, great coffee (very important!). It is close enough to the city, but not too close… What is there not to like?? Really.

Impressions Landscape – Design
Office: 5 Captain Cook Drive, Caringbah NSW 2229
Post: PO Box 2167 Taren Point NSW 2229

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Cronulla, Sydney’s most undervalued suburb

Cronulla, surrounded by beaches and bays, is one of Sydney’s most beautiful suburbs but rarely does it get the recognition.

Maybe now that we have one TV show after another filming here, Cronulla and surrounding suburbs will become an option for real estate buyers, new business and tourists.

My company, Beach & Bay Realty has specialised in selling real estate in this stunning area for over 10 years and I still find that Cronulla is the most undervalued beachside and bayside suburb in Sydney. So buy now and grab a bargain before it’s too late!

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Cronulla Sharks’ Development changes

The changes to the Cronulla Sharks’ development have pleased some, but mostly failed others.

Before the modifications

After receiving the opinions, thoughts and recommendations from the community, the club and its development partner reduced the height of several apartment blocks, reducing the number of units from 700 to approximately 600. The club has also included a major revamp of the layout of the retail and club centre including club-funded shuttle bus services to Woolooware train station since the government has still moved to implement a new service.

Mayor of the Sutherland Shire Carol Provan still feels that it is over-development. Councillors Kevin Schreiber, George Capsis and Lorraine Kelly are in agreement with the Mayor largely because major traffic and parking problems still remain. Cronulla MP Mark Speakman will make his comment once he receives a briefing from the developer. The North Cronulla Precinct Committee still remain opposed to the development because of the loss of playing fields, parking, visual impact, traffic and environmental issues, stating that ‘‘six hundred units is still equivalent to four times the size and density of Northies”.

After the modifications

The new plan includes:

  • Three 14-storey
  • Three eight-storey
  • One 10-storey
  • Three nine-storey
  • Two three-storey blocks

The North Cronulla Precinct Committee are also concerned because they claim that “half the people who made submissions in support of the development lived outside the shire and objections from shire residents should be given much greater weight” and  “no parking would be allowed on Captain Cook Drive once the council completed its plan to widen the section between Woolooware Road and Elouera Road to four lanes.”

Original Cronulla Sharks' Development from The Daily Telegraph

A spokesman for the development Ben Fairfax said they had listened to the community and have tried to maintain good communication with the community and understands that not everyone will be happy, but they have listened and responded. Mr Fairfax stated that “cutting the number of units by 100 would mean lower costs and, with improved efficiency, viability would be maintained.”

In regards to the playing fields, Mr Fairfax revealed that they received a letter from the Department of Education and Communities supporting the relocation of playing fields to Cronulla High School and that the new facilities would be provided at the school in conjunction with Cronulla Sutherland Water Polo Association.

We’d love to hear your thoughts or opinions on the development!

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Local auction clearance rate beats Sydneywide

Things improved last week for the auction local clearance rate with a final score of 61.5% compared with Sydneywide of 54%.  This weekend there are no auctions scheduled in the local area because of the Easter long weekend but there are 4 midweek auctions tonight which we will update you on tomorrow.

Interest rates have been left on hold by the Reserve Bank today but petrol prices are supposed to drop this weekend? That will be a first for an Easter long weekend!

Happy Easter and let’s hope this fantastic autumn weather continues!

Autumn sunset at Cronulla

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50% local auction clearance rate

Last week our local postcodes of 2230 to 2229 achieved a respectable clearance rate of 50%.

Sydneywide achieved a 60% clearance rate according to Home Price Guide but I am sure the true figure is probably closer to our local 50% result. Home Price Guide doesn’t have agents on the ground actually going to auctions but instead relies on agents to submit the data. Agents traditionally are reluctant to submit withdrawn, passed in and cancelled results.

In our local area, last week’s sales included several properties over a million dollars where previous weeks have proved tough for the early million price range.

Our suburb auction focus is Cronulla, Woolooware, Burraneer, Caringbah, Lilli Pilli and Dolans Bay

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