When it comes to retirement, most people plan to take life a little slower. But Robert Ravens isn’t most people. “I retired fairly early but I got bored,” he explains. “I saw Bridestowe Lavender Estate listed for sale, and the rest was history”. From an impulsive decision 15 years ago, Bridestowe Lavender Estate has steadily grown into a Tasmanian Agritourism icon and a big hit for tourists far and wide.
Although its 200 kilometres of manicured lavender are the main attraction, Bridestowe Estate is much more than a farm. “Sensory overload is really the thing that we set out to do,” says Robert. “We set out to bond people with vistas, with colour, with fragrance, with taste, and with tactile things.” Featuring a popular gift store and gourmet café serving lavender-based recipes, it is a complete tourist destination–and was taking in 85,000 visitors annually before the pandemic.
Of course, growth isn’t always easy–and Robert certainly faced a few challenges during his early days in charge. “It became horrendously expensive and we ran out of money,” Rob admits.
But luckily for him, help came far from home. “Together with a small group of agritourism businesses and a group of very, very passionate people working for Tourism Tasmania, we started to generate some buzz,” says Robert. “And by Christmas of 2010, there’d been a real surge in tourism for Bridestowe Estate.”
Since then, the business has well and truly thrived–and one of Robert’s oldest and most valuable team members is his American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card. In fact, he’s been using American Express as a business Card since 1986.
Robert doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to his favourite benefit - Qantas Points. “We are a major points generator,” he says. “In fact, we set out to optimise our Qantas Points generation and their uncapped potential1.” His reasons for this are both pragmatic and personal. “I can redeem Qantas Points on renovations that have been paid for by the Card, so our visitors have the best experience,” he explains.
By putting everything they can on their American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card and paying religiously at the end of the month, Robert and his family are able to earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday business expenses1 – and redeem on travel and staff incentives.
This strategy has led to quite a few overseas trips – but these are far from an indulgence. “Our travel always has a business focus,” says Robert. “And I think travel gives us the chance to measure other opportunities very quickly and import them to our space.” Thanks to the Card, Robert can triple the points his business earns when he flies with Qantas to stretch his dollar2.
Not only do these trips expand the offering of Bridestowe Estate, but by paying with the Card, Robert earns 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible Qantas products and services1 and can use those Points to upgrade on flights in the future.
While Robert is upfront about the personal benefits of his Card, he can’t stress its importance to the business enough. “We’re redoing a major kitchen upgrade. It’s certainly going to get a workout there, I promise you that,” he explains.
Much like his heavy-duty farm equipment or commercial kitchen appliances, the Card is an essential tool for the day-to-day running of Bridestowe Estate. “We’re very strict on cash flow management, and the Card is fundamental,” he explains. By using it for business expenses, Robert has up to 51 days to pay for purchases3 - and a Flexible Payment Option4 to pay off a portion of his balance, up to his FPO limit, over time (interest charges apply). These help give greater flexibility to the business.
Despite hitting a snag with COVID-19, Bridestowe Estate continues to grow. But as the farm’s offering changes, one thing remains the same – Robert’s American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card is still firmly in his hand. “This farm has evolved over the last 15 years to quite a remarkable institution. And we have always used the Card to support that expansion,” he explains.
Explore how the Card helps Bridestowe Lavender Estate maximise their Qantas Points earning potential to support their business evolution in Tasmania.
Running a business is never easy, especially one bought on a whim, but Robert’s secret to success is simple: “You’ve got to be passionate about what you do.” As travel slowly returns and visitors trickle back to Tasmania, Robert is as passionate as ever about Bridestowe Estate. “Every day has its extraordinary challenges, and that’s why it’s been an engaging business for as long as we’ve owned it.”
And his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? “Take more risks. Be prepared to trust your judgment. I would like to have done more of that earlier on. But it’s always easy in hindsight, isn’t it?”
Earn 120,000 bonus Qantas Points 5 for your business when you apply for the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card by 18 May 2022 and spend $3,000 within the first two months. New American Express Card Members only. T&Cs apply.
American Express approval criteria applies. Subject to Terms and Conditions. Fees and charges apply. All information is correct as of 7 April 2022 and is subject to change. This offer is only available to those who reside in Australia. Cards are offered, issued, and administered by American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 108 952 085). ®Registered Trademark of American Express Company. A $450 annual Card fee applies.
1. A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points for business. Membership and the earning of Qantas Points as a business are subject to the Qantas Business Rewards Terms and ConditionsOpens external site. Points are earned in accordance with and subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and ConditionsOpens external site. Your business will earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 of everyday spend, which does not include annual fees, late payment fee and fees and charges for foreign currencies. Your business will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent at participating merchants classified as "utilities" including gas, water and electricity providers; "government" including the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Postal Corporation, federal/state and local government bodies; and "insurance" excluding insurances offered by American Express. Industry specific earn rate may apply when you use a payment account, payment aggregator, services of a third party or online retailers that sell goods for another merchant. For example a payment made to Local Government bodies processed through a payment aggregator may earn rates at the government earn rate. Your business will earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on the following Qantas Products and Services purchased on the Qantas merchant account (i.e. directly from Qantas): Qantas passenger flights (with a QF flight number), Qantas Holidays, Qantas Branded non-airfare products, and Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Club membership joining and annual fees. Excludes Jetstar. For the full list of exclusions, please refer to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and ConditionsOpens external site.
2. A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn triple Qantas Points for business. The triple Qantas Points for business are only available for American Express Qantas Card Members when the Card is used to make an eligible Qantas flight booking. An eligible flightOpens external site means a domestic or international flight which has a Qantas 'QF' flight number on the ticket that is purchased in Australia; is operated by Qantas, Emirates or American Airlines; has a ticket number commencing with '081'; and is booked and travelled for business on or after the date the business registers for Qantas Business Rewards. Exclusions apply. Triple Qantas Points for Business is not available in conjunction with any other rebate, Corporate Fares Agreement or discount arrangement with Qantas. A Member's ABN and traveller's Qantas Frequent Flyer number must be quoted at the time of booking to earn Qantas Points for both the business and the traveller. Qantas will allocate 3 times the number of Qantas Points to the business under the Qantas Business Rewards Airline Reward Scheme terms and conditions. The maximum number of Qantas Points that can be earned from flying by a business with the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card is 4,000,000 per membership year as per the Triple Qantas Points for business benefit terms and conditions.
3. Extend your cash flow by up to 51 days: Depending on your method of payment, when you make a purchase, when your statement is issued and whether or not you are carrying forward a balance on your account from your previous statement period. If you pay by direct debit, your payment will be processed 10 days after your statement is issued.
4. With Flexible Payment Option, you will be charged interest if you do not pay your Closing Balance in full by the due date each month. Please refer to your monthly statements for the current interest rate and PDS for number of interest free days. Please refer to the full Flexible Payment Option Terms and ConditionsOpens external site.
5 .120,000 bonus Qantas Points: Offer only available to new American Express Card Members who apply by 18 May 2022, are approved and spend $3,000 on their new Card in the first two (2) months from the Card approval date. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. 120,000 Bonus Qantas Points will be awarded to the eligible Card Member's Account 8-10 weeks after the spend criteria has been met. This advertised offer is not applicable or valid in conjunction with any other advertised or promotional offer. Subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions of the Membership Rewards Program available at American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and ConditionsOpens external site. $450 annual fee applies.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly.
We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.