By Liena Wright _ April 24th, 2021

We’ve loved reading all your brilliant nominations as part of our Reward Yourself competition. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but so many fantastic stories have come out of it too — we all deserve a (virtual) high five for sticking together while apart.

We’ve decided to interview a few friends, fans and industry-folk about their experiences of lockdown and who they’d nominate for a reward. We spoke to Dave Olejnik, Founder of Laynes Espresso and Sarto


Hello Dave! How has the past year been for you?Of course, it goes without saying that COVID has placed a huge challenge on the hospitality industry. It’s exposed the fragility of an industry that, despite it’s worth to the economy, really exists on an almost hand to mouth style cash flow. Many (most) of us don’t sit on vast pools of cash and savings so when our trade was stopped in it’s tracks it really was a worst case scenario and the stress levels were HIGH. We had to think quick about ways to stay relevant and safe. Sarto started sending out the ‘cook at home’ pasta kits which have been popular and I love them.

Laynes returned to it’s initial inception as a take away only location, we’re just waiting for the city around us to come back to life again. Though the negatives are well covered and widely written about I feel that a positive take from it all is that many people have had a moment to address their life/work balance. Regaining those hours spent in crowded trains and traffic jams has highlighted to many that this time could be ours and we shouldn’t accept losing it.


Who would you nominate for a reward?
My partner, Hannah. 2020 was tough for everyone but I feel that the hand dealt to Han was exceptionally tough. In February we started the year with the shock passing of her mother, followed by lockdown 1 a few weeks later in which she saw her career as an accomplished dancer and choreographer disappear into the ‘you’re not worth saving’ pot. This was then followed by the passing of her nana and the loss of our greyhound. 2020 was RUBBISH. Hannah’s moved through all of that incredibly and all the while having to listen to me stress about my business worries. 


And what would it be?

Anywhere warm and with a pool…SPA DAY!


Thanks Dave!

Know someone who deserves a reward? Nominate them here for a chance to win!


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