Story and picture courtesy Ocean Grove Voice
A new travel-inspired giftware store is bringing treasures from around the world to Ocean Grove.
Just Landed in the Grove is the brainchild of Helloworld Ocean Grove owners Nicole Bryan and Lesley Judd, born in the wake of travel bans imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Instead of sharing the joy of planning and booking holidays for excited clients, travel agents have been responding to a tsunami of cancellations and postponements.
Even with restrictions beginning to ease in Australia and some other countries, the road to recovery is going to be long.
“We put our heart and soul into our business for many years and to see all our hard work pretty much wiped out by something completely out of our control has been just heart-breaking,” Nicole said.
Faced with ongoing operating costs of keeping the travel agency open and in need of a positive focus, the pair came up with the idea of a travel-themed gift store.
The Helloworld store at Ocean Grove Marketplace has been remodelled to incorporate the new giftware range, which includes original art and prints, gift cards, a selection of bags for home or away, travel maps, jewellery and fashion, all inspired by the owners’ travels around the world.
Locals and visitors craving escape or adventure can now plan their next holiday or pick up something special to satisfy their wanderlust.
“Right now we can’t send our clients out into the world, but we can bring the world to them,” Nicole said.
“There really is nothing else like this that we know of, and we’re so excited to bring this concept to Ocean Grove.”
The store’s range of unique giftware reflects the owners’ globe-trotting style, but they are also keen to promote local Bellarine wares to the world. Locally sourced products including prints and candles are already in stock, with more products set to land soon.
Just Landed Ocean Grove opened its doors at Ocean Grove Marketplace on Monday, June 1 and will be open from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
Travel consultations are available by appointment during usual agency business hours.