Tucked away in the regional town of Byron Bay, former Sydneysider Magdalena Roze is thankful to be riding out the pandemic from a patch of NSW that's so far avoided the worst of the virus.
They've needed the tranquillity and calm of the popular coastal haven to enjoy at the end of the day. Because from a business sense Roze and her chef fiancé Darren Robertson have been in the thick of it, juggling eight restaurants spread out across three states in one of the most COVID-affected industries in Australia — hospitality.
If you haven't been keeping tabs on their growing foodie empire, Robertson co-owns six Three Blue Ducks in NSW, QLD and Victoria, Rocker in Bondi Beach and Oma in Byron Bay.
Last week seven of the eight were in lockdown, but now that Byron has emerged from five weeks of stay-at-home orders another two can reopen their doors.
As Roze tells Mamamia, they've learnt to roll with the punches 18 months into a pandemic.
"When it first hit, that hit us hard because it sort of came out of nowhere, and there was so much uncertainty. It's the uncertainty that makes it scary because it took a few weeks for the government support to come in... before that we were like 'how on earth are we going to continue to pay our staff and rent?'