Business owner, Petria, was born and bred in the Northern Rivers.
She talks to Summerland’s Barry de Silva about the milk bar she ran for 5 years in Evans Head, why she’s opened a new milk bar in Lismore and her favourite places in the region.
“The Northern Rivers is a very easy place to live in. I’ve moved away a few times, but I’ve always come back,” Petria says with a smile.
In 2013, Petria saw an opportunity to open a milk bar on Oak Street in Evans Head, but she still needed to secure the finance to make it happen. Having previously had support for her husband’s wood fire business, Petria explained where she went.
“I approached Summerland and Penny helped me. We got a business loan to start the Evans Head shop,” she says. “After the shop started to do well, I decided to come back to Clunes. Meanwhile, I found a house that I liked, and I spoke to Penny again and she was able to make it happen for me.”
Five years on, Petria’s daughter now owns Muzza’s Milk Bar. Many at that point may have decided to take a step back and enjoy the lack of responsibility of owning a business. Not Petria, she was very passionate about opening another milk bar.
In November last year, Muzza’s Milk Bar in Lismore opened, and has gone from strength to strength, becoming a firm favourite with school children and workers in the CBD.
Even with the devastating floods in 2017, this didn’t put off Petria opening a shop in Lismore. She’s a “local at heart” and has just made her shop “flood friendly”, as she says.
“Everything in the shop is light and easy to pick up and put on a trailer. Even the floor in the shop has been designed to flow any flood water out of the shop.”
Before I leave, I ask Petria about her favourite places to head to when she’s not working, Petria isn’t hard pressed to come up with names. “Broken Head, Ballina, Lennox Head, and Evans Head. All those places are amazing, but Broken Head is my number one favourite.”
With lush rainforests, stunning coast lines and sandy beaches, it’s no surprise the Northern Rivers really is one of the most beautiful places in the world and why so many like Petria eventually return.