Dier Makr: Feeding Tasmania’s growing appetite
Making it Tasmania was a true meeting of the minds and an undeniable opportunity for these passionate restauranteurs.
“Probably a joke to start with. Lots of things tend to happen when we joke about it, then we end up just doing it.”
This is Sarah Fitzsimmons’ response when asked how she and partner Kobi Ruzicka decided to move to Tasmania and open a restaurant.
What ‘probably’ started with a joke is now Dier Makr, a restaurant and wine bar that is right at home in Hobart’s growing hospitality sector.
A trip to Tasmania in January 2016 set off a series of events for this young couple that has seen them move across the Bass Strait and start a business that enjoys national attention, local hype and rave reviews. All in under 12 months.
“We came here and went to some amazing places and we knew people in the industry, so immediately we were able to see how close and supportive that environment is,” says Sarah.
Despite having grown up only 15 minutes apart in Melbourne, the pair didn’t meet until Sarah started working at Kobi’s wine bar and café in their shared childhood suburb of Eltham.
As well as Melbourne, Kobi’s journey to Tasmania has included working in kitchens in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Belgium, Munich and San Francisco.
For Sarah it was a case of finding a passion, something dynamic, “I started getting interested in wine and good food, working for someone that’s so inspired by that stuff is really infectious.”
Kobi and Sarah saw that Hobart suited the vision they had for their business and that it had clear advantages compared to the competitive Melbourne market.
”For a Melbourne comparison, the restaurant space was three times the size and half the price of what we’d been looking at,” says Kobi.
“There’s absolutely no way we could be doing what we’re doing here, the way we’re doing it here back in Melbourne.”
Dier Makr is right at home in Tasmania’s bustling food and beverage market, with Kobi and Sarah’s commitment to great produce evident in everything they do.
The pair are keenly aware of the growth happening around them, whether it is new hotels or more opportunities for eateries outside of the Hobart central business district.
“People [from Melbourne and Sydney] are just cold calling us,” says Kobi about the interest in making the change to Tasmania and the visibility of growth in the state’s hospitality sector further afield.
The benefits are also local. From when they first arrived in Hobart, Kobi and Sarah believe the momentum they are now a part of is going to continue, and opportunities for local talent increase.
“You can do it as a career, not just as a weekend job to get cash. So I think the next step is getting people to recognise that, who want to do it and also want to do it Hobart,” says Sarah.
Despite their impressive work ethic, Kobi and Sarah have taken the opportunity to explore Tasmania and both enjoy the lifestyle of their new home.
Sarah is glowing about the sense of community, “I love that so much about Hobart. You kind of know what everyone else is doing.”
“I think there’s a great balance. I love how close everything is to Hobart. That you can drive 10 or 15 minutes away and you’re already in dense nature. You are definitely out of the city very quickly,” says Kobi.
Now almost one year since they opened the doors to Dier Makr, Kobi and Sarah are making the most of all the opportunities Tasmania has to offer.
Find out more about Dier Makr at www.diermakr.com.