Chris originally worked his way to owning a cafe in Ocean Grove that he worked at for five years. This is where Chris met his now business partner Georgia Throne and they started working together at the Ocean Grove café about the time that Chris decided to sell the café. From there, Georgia and Chris kept an eye on the Geelong Café scene and this beautiful place came up and he says they just had to jump into it. Although he cautions that you shouldn’t jump in if you are not ready for it, Chris and Georgia were looking and ready. And they were lucky enough to find just the place.
“We are unique in Geelong because of our coastal attitude that we gained when working in Ocean Grove and close to the coast. And with that attitude comes a unique way of approaching customers, problems, complaints and compliments.” Chris says, noting that this allows them to be able to take it all in their stride and make the customer feel like they’ve just walked into their own living room as opposed to a café.
Chris says his guilty pleasure with the café, is that being next to the Geelong Botanical Gardens Park, what both Georgia and Chris saw most of all when they were renovating the café for opening was that dogs and their owners walked past often. As they were renovating for 2 months, they got to know the name of every dog that passed by the café and every dog in the neighbourhood. Then when the café opened, the dogs became great ice-breakers. People became more relaxed because when meeting someone new Georgia and Chris would talk to the dog first and get to know people through their pets.
Chris says the reason he does this job is because he gets a lot of joy from making people really happy, but he gets just as much from seeing an unhappy person because of that little extra effort to make them happy as they are walking out. That’s the pat on the back that he turns up to work for. Making sure everyone has a great experience, it’s hospitality for a reason isn’t it?