On a Friday afternoon, with the sun streaming through the trees and the birds chirping, you'd normally expect the Mt Canobolas Tea House to be abuzz. Not this week.
Tea house owners and operators Nicky and Tim Macqueen have been hit on two fronts by the impact of coronavirus - once by a shrinking clientele and again by limits on supermarket sales.
The first hit was expected, with Mr Macqueen saying most of the regulars at the tea house had been advised against spending time in public due to the virus.
"A lot of our midweek clientele traffic are of an older demographic, be it aged care homes, community groups, LiveBetter groups," he said.
"They're all going into lockdown, a lot of their clients are at higher-risk.
"We're having other problems with traffic too, we're at the bottom of Mount Canobolas, it's Friday for crying out loud - where are the people coming on long weekends from Sydney and Newcastle?"
He said the effects of cancelling of major events such as the Newcrest Challenge and Volcanic Challenge - the latter of which starts a stone's throw from the tea house - were already being felt.
"We've been doing change of business, doing freezer meals where we make it, freeze it and drop it off but we're trying to change it and adapt," Mrs Macqueen said.
"It's very difficult for everyone at the moment."
The second - and more unexpected - issue facing them is the one which brought them to "breaking point".
The couple were told they were unable to purchase enough milk to run the cafe, with them normally buying between six and 10 litres most mornings to get through the day.
"We don't do enough to do bulk suppliers because they like minimum orders, and we don't use enough by the use-by date," Mr Macqueen said.
"I didn't think milk would be an issue. We're not in a shortage. I understand the rush on canned goods, bog roll and hand sanitiser ... I don't understand the limitation on milk. You can't exactly hoard milk."
Mr Macqueen said despite pleading with managers, the tea house would need to source milk from elsewhere after being refused an exemption, but said the world had gone mad that it had to get to that level.
"If people didn't hoard then suppliers wouldn't need to put these restrictions on," he said.
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