Source: The Queensland Times

BY THE tender age of 22, Italian-born Claudio D’Andrea had moved to Australia, married the love of his life and opened a pizza shop.

Two years after opening his business, the hugely popular Greater Springfield pizzeria is thriving and has been dubbed as one of the best pizza destinations in Brisbane.

Mr D’Andrea’s Pizzeria La Prima is at the Park Ave Apartments.

Why Greater Springfield?

“We knew that if we put our heart into the restaurant it would grow and the predicted growth in this area was a key deciding factor, as was the family demographic, which is always good for our type of business,” Mr D’Andrea said.

“We also saw opening here as a great opportunity as my wife, Madison, and I already lived in Springfield Lakes, so it was the ideal location for us.”

Highlights over the last two years?

“Being recognised as one of the best pizza places in Brisbane has definitely given us a lot of confidence in what we’re doing,” he said.

“It also proves that we’re on the right track, so we’re really happy to be working hard and achieving our dreams.

“To me, this is not just a business, it’s something I love and even though I might at times get busy or stressed, I still love it and don’t see it as just a “job”.

To the future….

Moving forward, Pizzeria La Prima’s focus will be to expand on the current services they offer.

“We are very excited to announce that we are in the process of acquiring our liquor licence which we believe will take our restaurant to the next level,” Mr D’Andrea said.

“All of our pizzas are popular and we’re still the only business providing Italian cuisine in the area, so we have slowly started to offer other food such as tiramisu, gnocchi and other popular Italian dishes which have been well received by our customers.

“I think along with our great customer service, pizza and Italian food, having authentic Italian beer and wine will really complete our picture.”

Mr D’Andrea expects the liquor licence should be ready in the next couple of months and just in time for the festive season.

Lole’s Barber Shop

What started as a hobby and a bit of fun has turned into one of Greater Springfield’s most successful business stories.

Fana and Shelleigh Lole are the owners of Lole’s Barber Shop and have established a cult following, with people travelling from all over southeast Queensland to have their locks trimmed by their barbers.

The couple opened their second barber shop at Park Ave, Springfield Central this time last year and said they could never have imagined the journey their casual side hustle would take them on.

Why Greater Springfield?

“We have been here for 11 years and purchased our house at Springfield Lakes back in 2012. We have seen the area go from strength to strength in the short time we have lived here and wanted to be a part of that growth,” Mrs Lole said.

“Seeing what is and what is still yet to come is extremely exciting and we simply couldn’t see ourselves living anywhere else.

“Understanding both the commercial and residential plan for Springfield Central was quite a strategic move and being able to purchase the commercial space for the second shop was an offer too good to refuse.”

Highlights since opening one year ago?

Mrs Lole said meeting new people and growing their team had been the stand-out achievement for the business over the past year.

“We have 12 staff now since opening our second shop and all of them are either local or live in the fringe suburbs of Greater Springfield,” Mrs Lole said.

“Our staff are just amazing and it’s a very close-knit family feel which means it never feels like work.

“It’s also been rewarding meeting new people on a daily basis, either customers or other local business owners, who are just as passionate about this area as we are.

“It’s invaluable and rewarding to have a strong network of people around us, who are all heading in the same direction and working to make this area something really special.”

To the future…

With things tracking along so well, Mrs Lole couldn’t rule out the possibility of opening in additional locations.

We certainly hope to continue to grow with this city and have identified a few areas we would like to move into later down the track,” she said.

“The beauty of being in such a developing market is that the possibilities are endless.”

Raw Energy

It may sound like just another juice bar, but this family-run Greater Springfield café is in fact co-owned by a nutritionist and features everything from in-house raw dessert slices to gourmet burgers and salads.

Owners Kirstie and Tim Sharman along with Kirstie’s mum, Jeanine Buchanan, are the team behind Raw Energy Springfield and recently celebrated two years since getting their dream venture off the ground at the GE Building.


Why Greater Springfield?

“Raw Energy was originally Kirstie and Tim’s dream and was inspired from a time when Kirstie used to holiday at the Sunshine Coast and visit the Raw Energy café there,” Ms Buchanan said.

“We’ve been locals here since 1982, so were very familiar with the area and the community has really embraced us.

“It’s been wonderful getting to know the regulars and to be able to offer a place where people can pop in and feel at ease.

“Kirstie also has a degree in nutrition and did a lot of research before making the decision to invest in the brand.

“She liked that it’s not like your typical franchise as most decisions regarding operations are made in-house.

“Kirstie is also full of knowledge, she can explain to our customers what is in the food and why we choose to use certain ingredients, so that’s another huge benefit to the business.”

Highlights over the last two years?

Ms Buchanan said the team were extremely proud of the hard work they had put in since opening and spreading the word about what they had to offer.

“When we first opened people thought we were simply a juice bar, but they quickly found out we were so much more than that,” Ms Buchanan said.

“Being able to educate people that we sell a range of healthy, fresh and vibrant foods sourced mainly from local businesses has been important and we encourage anyone who aspires to living a healthy life to come and see us.

“Everything is also made fresh, in-house which we are very proud of and one of the highlights for me personally has been making the raw slices.

“When I think back to what I was originally making and what I have achieved now, it’s wonderful and the customers now often affectionately refer to me as ‘Mama Jeanine’.”

To the future….

“On the family front, Tim and Kirstie welcomed their first baby, Claire, to the world earlier this year, so that has added a whole new dimension, but we make it work and tag-team with her care,” she said.

“With regards to the business, we’ve just introduced our monthly special which has been well received, so we will continue to do that.

“We also understand that it’s important to evolve and grow with the community, so our new kid’s corner is part of keeping the excitement alive around our business.”

McNamara Law

McNamara Law may be close to celebrating 100 years, but its Greater Springfield journey is only just beginning.


The McNamara family started practicing law in Ipswich at the turn of the 20th century, with McNamara Law now proud to call itself one of the largest, all-service law firms in the wider region.

Partners Peter Wilkinson and Jeremy Bruce took over the reins in recent years and have encouraged the business to grow from strength to strength.

Their most recent move to their Springfield Central office at the GE Building has proven fruitful, as the law firm continues to grow and meet demand for services in Greater Springfield and beyond.

The firm recently marked two years since the Springfield move.

Why Greater Springfield?

“McNamara Law moved to Greater Springfield 12 years ago after catching the vision of what Maha Sinnathamby and Bob Sharpless were promoting,” Mr Bruce said.

“Peter and I saw it as a good fit and opportunity to grow the business.

“We were originally located at the Orion Shopping Centre and moved to the GE Building as we were seeking a more professional workspace and felt the new location was a perfect fit.”

The Springfield Central office has grown tenfold, with similar growth patterns experienced across all McNamara Law offices situated in Springfield Central, Ipswich and Gatton.

Since opening in Greater Springfield, the Springfield Central team has grown significantly and even more so since moving to the GE Building.

The office went from having a conveyancer and receptionist, to now housing five lawyers, a conveyancer and five support staff- a total of 32 staff across all three McNamara Law offices.

“We’re growing with the community and most of our staff are local, so they love it because they’re not spending hours getting to work which is a big bonus regarding retaining staff.”

Highlights over last two years?

McNamara Law provides support to the community during what is usually a tough time in their lives and Mr Bruce said it was an honour to help people during their time of need.

“People only need us when there is a problem they need solving, so it’s a privilege to be able to support them through that and make it as easy a process as possible,” he said.

“We are also very proud of our recent acknowledgement from the business community where we received the award for best Professional Services as part of the Inaugural Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Marque Awards 2019.

“Receiving an award like that means our clients value what we do for them, so we’re proud to be a part of this community and will continue to support them in every way we can.”

To the future….

Moving forward, McNamara Law aims to grow and expand in the wider region and to eventually acquire other firms in the Western Corridor.

Mr Bruce said optimising local talent and supporting employment within the local community was high on the agenda.

“The good thing about sourcing local talent is that they live here, their networks are here and that’s essentially what will help our firm grow.”