After a long and difficult wait, we can proudly say Beena’s Back! Traders are again able to welcome customers into their stores and we have all been looking forward to it.

Local photographer Adam McKay has spearheaded the Beena’s Back series, following the stories of various business owners as they once again open their doors.

Episode One: Murrumbeena Wine Bar

Meet Ericka and her team from Murrumbeena Wine Bar
(77 Murrumbeena Rd). Ericka opened the bar in September 2019 after growing up in the area. Having found the perfect space across from the station, 2020 was set to be a huge year.

Ericka cites the Wine Bar’s passion for showcasing local producers and family-run boutique wineries as a key point-of-difference for the business.The stories associated with the wines she serves is
something Ericka loves sharing with her customers.

With Covid hitting not long after opening, Ericka found it challenging keeping her staff employed and pivoting the business model to survive through pandemic times.
With online sales and home delivery replacing dining in, Ericka found she missed the connection she enjoyed with her customers. The community had her back, however, and Ericka appreciated all the support she received from her customers and other businesses in the area.

With the bar recently reopening,
Ericka is looking forward to a full and buzzing Murrumbeena Wine Bar – with cocktails, live music, Friday night drinks, and all that the bar is renown for
in Murrumbeena.

Visit Murrumbeena Wine Bar:
77 Murrumbeena Rd.

Episode Two: Moss & Maple

Meet Jodi from Moss & Maple Florist (478 Neerim Rd). Jodi is a local resident and has had the shop for over four years. Having the business has helped Jodie connect with her community on a deeper level than she felt prior to opening the florist.

2020 has been a challenging year for Moss & Maple. Anticipating supply and demand, and the level of stock required, has proven difficult. However, Jodi has pushed through thanks to the support of the local community, who have constantly checked in on her and continued to shop at Moss & Maple by sending flowers and bouquets to their loved ones. In this way, Jodi and Moss & Maple have provided an important community service, helping people stay connected during this difficult time.

Although Jodi has seen the benefits of a break in routine, she is looking forward to returning to normal and continuing to provide Murrumbeena and beyond beautiful flowers and more.

Visit Moss & Maple Florist:
478 Neerim Rd.

Episode Three: Hidden Throne Tattoo Studio

Meet Iain from Hidden Throne Tattoo Studio. Iain is part of the vibrant Versus HQ building on Neerim Road, which is run by his brother, Evan. Iain believes the fact that Hidden Throne is a private studio makes it special, with clients able to receive a more personal and relaxed experience.

With Covid-19 completely shutting down Hidden Throne, Iain was left in limbo and with no idea how long the restrictions would last. Other studios found themselves in the same boat however, with all tattoo work on pause. This meant Iain did not lose clients, and in fact found it easy to rebook his clients once restrictions ended thanks to the support of his community.

With tattooing something he is unable to do at home, Iain is enjoying finally being able to get back into the studio at Hidden Throne and do the thing he loves alongside his friends and family. Tattooing is more than just work for Iain, and he is glad to be back.

Visit Hidden Throne Tattoo Studio:
474 Neerim Rd. (above The Alleyway Cartel Café)

Episode Four: S.W.E.A.T Nation

Meet Nass from S.W.E.A.T Nation Fitness and Lifestyle Hub (442 Neerim Rd). S.W.E.A.T Nation helps busy professionals get stronger, move better, hurt less and feel their best. The business has called Murrumbeena home for almost a year now, however Nass has lived in the area for over 12 years.With S.W.E.A.T Nation still in its infancy, Nass found the Covid-19 restrictions incredibly difficult, and coming at a time where the business was just picking up momentum. Keeping his members engaged was the biggest challenge for Nass, however his community stuck by him by continuing to train remotely and support the business.

Nass is hopeful for the future, and cannot wait to see his members again and have S.W.E.A.T Nation back to its vibrant and energetic best. He points out that 2020 has taught us a valuable lesson on how things we take for granted can be taken away in the blink of any eye. Nass believes that by coming together we can overcome anything.

As Nass says,
“The human spirit in unity is such a powerful thing.”

Visit Sweat Nation:
442 Neerim Rd.

Episode Five: Levi

Meet Harry from Levi (6 Railway Parade). Levi opened in late 2019 after Harry found the site for lease and fell in love with Murrumbeena’s community and overall vibe. With seating for 180, and a dedicated children’s area, Levi brings something different to the area with its size and ability to cater to a large and diverse crowd.

Being a bigger venue, however, meant Levi was impacted heavily when lockdown restrictions were introduced during the Covid-19 period. Not only did these restrictions push pause on any momentum the business had built, Harry also faced the added responsibility of ensuring his staff were looked after during extremely uncertain times.

Harry and his team were able to withstand all that 2020 threw at them with the support of the local community, including the other traders in the area. With the worst of it behind him, Harry is looking ahead with excitement, and flags new additions to the menu as well as functions and events as two new things to watch out for at Levi.

Harry is inspired by the resiliency shown by Murrumbeena and its community throughout 2020, and is looking forward to bringing Levi back to “fly big and hard.”

Visit Levi:
6 Railway Parade

Episode Six: FreshPict Creative

Meet David from FreshPict Creative (48A Murrumbeena Road). FreshPict has been in Murrumbeena for over five years providing catalogues, website, online marketing, point-of-sale material and advertising for retail clients. The business is a family affair, with David working alongside his daughters, who count three of the seven total staff.Being a creative team, collaboration is vital to the success of FreshPict, and David has found keeping everyone together to be the biggest challenge throughout the Covid-19 period. Daily Zoom meetings and remote work have had to suffice in 2020, however David is looking forward to a time when he and his staff can sit around their creative table in the FreshPict office and throw ideas around in a collaborative and creative environment.

David has enjoyed seeing local businesses and the community at large come together in 2020 and support each other through an unprecedented period of challenges. This time has given him a new perspective, and David admits to now being more mindful and empathetic to those around him, as well embracing living in the moment and not taking anything for granted.

David is looking forward to getting back to work at FreshPict and being involved in the local community to once again see Murrumbeena thrive.

Visit FreshPict Creative:
48A Murrumbeena Road

Episode Seven: The Conductor Barbershop

Meet Claude from The Conductor Barbershop (418 Neerim Road). The Conductor opened in March 2019 and found Murrumbeena to be the perfect home due to it being an up-and-coming area with a gap that a modern barbershop, like The Conductor, could fill. Claude believes The Conductor stands out thanks to the sense of community the shop brings, with customers able to come in for a chat and watch sport on the TV in a relaxed environment.2020 has posed major challenges for The Conductor, with the shop opening and closing with no clarity around a timeframe for a permanent return to business. Despite this uncertainty, Claude and the staff were reassured by Matt and the other owners and were never made to feel like The Conductor may succumb to the pressures of the Covid-19 period.

With The Conductor reopening, Claude is enjoying seeing everyone from the Murrumbeena community again, and has a newfound love for his job and cutting hair. Having worked in other areas, Claude enjoys the chilled and easy-going nature of Murrumbeena, and appreciates the opportunity to be part of our community.

Visit The Conductor Barbershop:
418 Neerim Road

Episode Eight: The Alleyway Cartel

Meet Erin from The Alleyway Cartel cafe (474 Neerim Road). The Alleyway Cartel opened its doors in November, 2019 as part of the Versus HQ collective. Erin, who has called Murrumbeena home her whole life, and Evan from Versus Merch both shared a love of coffee, and decided to join forces to bring a new offering to the area. From humble beginnings, the business has enjoyed massive growth and cemented itself among Murrumbeena’s best cafes.

Despite the uncertainty arising from Covid-19, The Alleyway Cartel has proven resilient and enjoyed incredible community support during 2020. With lockdowns forcing many to work from home, the community needed any excuse to head out for a coffee and a chat, and The Alleyway Cartel was only too happy to oblige with Erin ready to lend an ear to those navigating their Covid challenges.

2020 also provided Erin and Alleyway an opportunity to collaborate with local businesses and artists in new and interesting ways, as well as forge a deeper relationship with customers and the Murrumbeena community at large. Erin and The Alleyway Cartel are proud to call Murrumbeena home, and are looking forward to continued growth in the area.

Visit The Alleyway Cartel:
474 Neerim Road

Episode Nine: Versus Merch

Meet Evan from Versus Merch (474 Neerim Road). After being in business for several years, Evan recently made the decision to move back to Murrumbeena to set up the Versus headquarters, citing the welcoming nature of the community as a key factor in this decision.Evan believes the motivation behind Versus sets it apart from similar businesses, with profit taking a backseat to ensuring he is helping his clients.

With lockdowns affecting events and businesses around them, Versus felt the pinch in 2020. Evan and his team were able to pivot, however, with focus shifting to products people needed during Covid-19, such as facemasks and hand sanitiser. This placed Versus in a strong position to bounce back once the community emerged from lockdown.

Evan is grateful to have the support of the local community, which pulled together to support each other in this time of need, and is proud to be part of the Murrumbeena village.

Visit Versus Merch:
474 Neerim Road