Traders Talk Christmas
Updated: Jan 12
Roys Barber Rear, 715 Glenferrie Road
This year, barber and manager Mika plans to go back to his home city of Sydney to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Christmas is rooted in his Christian beliefs, and is a “wholesome way to celebrate with family and friends”. Mika has observed that Christmas in Glenferrie is always quite festive, and he values Glenferrie’s unique and strong sense of “community engagement”, especially over the past two years. Mika is looking forward to having a break, and hopes that the fireworks in Sydney and in Melbourne go ahead.
1/701 Glenferrie Road
For business owner Patrick, Christmas is “mainly a family thing” and the day is a “big one” with lots of the family getting together to exchange gifts. Along with Christmas being for family, Patrick also sees it as “being a part of society” as many people are celebrating and doing similar activities. Patrick always treats the staff at Supernova to a dinner out, to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year. For their last dinner they enjoyed a meal at Colourful Yunnan. Patrick is yet to decide which one of the many great local restaurants to attend for this year’s celebration.
493 Burwood Road
“In India there is commercialisation of all holidays” explains Indu who is originally from Delhi and now runs Shoppers India and lives locally. In India the people love to “celebrate every holiday” including Christmas. She and her family enjoy the festive season and traditionally go out for meals during this time - especially for Christmas dinner. Favourite places to eat at include Rococo and Osteria 20. Around the holiday season many people come to Shoppers India for their copper items such as bowls, cups and utensils, fresh Indian sweets, and a variety of Sri Lankan and Indian food. They also have decorations for holidays like Diwali, items for prayer, wellness teas, and spices.
Glenferrie Gourmet Meats 720 Glenferrie Road
Team member James says that the holiday season at Glenferrie Gourmet Meats is “manic” from Grand Final Day right up until Christmas. A Hawthorn local, James “lives for Christmas,” and has “an awesome family” he spends Christmas Day with. It is a big party for the family, they even have cocktails named after family members. James usually does his Christmas shopping along Glenferrie Road, claiming that Homing Instincts is the “one stop shop for Christmas gifts”. The staff at Glenferrie Gourmet Meats always have a Christmas Eve party and in February when things slow down a bit, James will take some time off to go to Yarrawonga.
Harper and Hayes 755 Glenferrie Road
Growing up in Tasmania as a child, business owner Rose always had a “real Christmas tree, decorated with pine cones and a couple of heirloom decoration pieces”. Nowadays Christmas has been about catching up with family, “I always look forward to a relaxing day, shared with the family, after the last gift hamper has left the store on Christmas Eve”. Each year, Rose and her husband alternate Christmas Day between their two families, “one year in Melbourne, the other in country Victoria”. Rose does not celebrate the New Year, “it really is just another day for me”, but she is looking forward to 2022 when she plans to travel to Europe to source more “quality, affordable homewares” for Harper and Hayes.
The Common Good 394 Burwood Road
Business owner Meneka’s Christmas Day starts at 5am when the kids “go a bit psycho”, but once they have finished opening presents, the family attends mass. For Meneka and her family, the importance of Christmas is based on their Christian beliefs which are also reflected in the open door policy they have on Christmas Day. Instead of a sit down dinner, throughout the day there is a huge east meets west buffet - playing homage to traditional Australian Christmas dishes, like barbecue prawns, and Meneka’s own Sri Lankan heritage. Friends, family, and even customers from The Common Good come in and out over the day. “It’s a big open house” she says, and especially welcomes those who do not have anyone to celebrate with or anywhere to go over the holidays. Meneka has a strong vision for Hawthorn, which is to contribute to the "village feel" and re-engage the public with "brick and mortar shopping...and the food we eat. There is sustenance in making sure where one works and lives, thrives''.
Buywell Dumpling 3/862 Glenferrie Road
One year since owner Dora Min Zhang opened Buywell Dumplings, manager Ziu is excited that this holiday season will mean welcoming more customers for sit-down meals over the holidays and in the new year. The majority of the staff will work on and around Christmas Day, as they prepare and serve the Buywell Dumpling Christmas banquet. For the occasion, the entire restaurant is decorated with lights, baubles and a trimmed Christmas tree. The atmosphere and anticipation has Ziu feeling excited to “celebrate [Christmas] with all the customers”.
Panache Flowers 712 Glenferrie Road
Since Panache Flowers moved to their new location closer to Glenferrie Station, things have been “a bit crazy” says team member Judy. Since November, Panache Flowers has sold an array of Christmas items including LED Christmas trees and Christmas themed carousels, and their own Panache candles which have been launched just this year. Judy’s own Christmas is very “traditional... all the family comes together”. She makes a point of supporting local businesses during the holidays including Readings, Glenferrie Gourmet Meats, and the gift stores Homing Instincts and Blackbird and Fox. The Panache staff always go out for Christmas dinner along the street. Their previous location at 749 Glenferrie Road has been relaunched as an indoor pot and plants store - just in time for Christmas.
Sofas Direct 283 Burwood Road
Team member Ella, from Sofas Direct, is looking forward to getting together with family for Christmas and "having a big meal in the sunshine". "Boxing day is a curry meal with mum's side of the family" where everyone brings their signature curry and there is a competition to decide who made the best one. For Sofas Direct, orders increase around August with many people ordering their new sofas for pre-Christmas delivery in time to host any holiday get-togethers. Luckily, for anyone who might have missed the cut-off date to order their custom, Melbourne-made sofa, can go in-store for the current floor stock sale.
Glenferrie Shoe Repairs 673 Glenferrie Road
Cobbler and business owner Bruno and his colleague, known by friends as Woz, are looking forward to “regaining a sense of normality in 2022”. Glenferrie Shoe Repairs will not be closing over the holiday period, having lost nearly two years worth of business due to lockdowns during their busiest periods; winter and the Spring Racing Carnival. Instead, Bruno and Woz will alternate time off to spend with their respective families - Bruno with his grandchildren and Woz with his young children. Bruno’s European background anchors his Christmas in religious tradition, and he and his family attend church on Christmas Day. It is, of course, also about “getting together with family”. Bruno and Woz bring their families together for a Christmas lunch at the pub, and give each other presents. Bruno comments that for Woz, a good gift is typically “tools from Bunnings”.
Dux Coffee Don Arcade 672H Glenferrie Road
For Inggrid, Christmas is quintessentially about “lots of good food, and good company”. For her and her family, Christmas is not a religious celebration but more about “participating in the holiday season” and “celebrating the end of the year”. Inggrid says that this is a good enough reason to get together with family and friends. Due to Dux Coffee’s proximity to Swinburne University, the summer holidays are a quiet time for the cafe. She and the staff definitely take advantage of the “opportunity to take a break”. Inggrid is planning to go away with her family to the Mornington Peninsula and spend a lot of time at the beach.