Meet our Colourful Characters - Bundaberg Region
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Meet our Colourful Characters

5 charming characters you should meet in Bundaberg North Burnett


1. The Barista

Tucked down a small Bargara laneway, stumble upon The Journey coffee shop and in this 24 square-metre space you'll likely bump into owner Matt Grills as well. Matt, a former Bundaberg police officer, wanted to bring "a little bit of Melbourne" to this beach village, and so opened his shop in December 2016.
The Kai Coffee he uses is roasted on the Sunshine Coast and is sustainable, with donations from each sale going back to assist children in the regions where it is produced. He also serves Rawlicious raw food from made by a local cook.
You can't miss Matt, this 34-year-old ultra-marathon runner is heavily tattooed, with many designs coming from his Christian faith.
"I want to provide premium coffee but spend time with each person and leave them feeling better than when they turn up," Matt says.
"It is about trying to provide a good vibe. The coffee is just a bonus."

 

2. The Butcher

Boasting one of the cheekiest names in the business, you'll also find some of the tastiest meat in Queensland at Bundy Chop Shop. Meet affable owner Rick Elliot, whose father was a butcher in Gin Gin back in the late 80s and wanted his son to come to the "big smoke" of Bundaberg to find work. Bundy Chop Shop was the first door on which Rick knocked and in 2010 he went on to buy the business. So successful is this operation, it recently won Best Butcher in Bundaberg. Last Christmas they smoked 1000 hams in this shop which specialises in all sorts of meat and smoked goods such as bacon and chicken. These days, Bundy Chop Shop is so busy it employs 11 butchers who rotate on a seven-day week basis. Follow the scent of sultry smoke to North Bundaberg to meet Rick and his team.

 

3. The Retreat Owners

They've taken a former 1970s Bargara beach motel and transformed it into a oceanfront den of zen. Australian/French couple Zen Beach Retreat Owners Shane and Pascaline Emms were living and working in Vietnam when they decided to swap their stressful, high-profile jobs for a different existence.
"We went back to Australia and went for a beach drive to try and find a block of land. I wanted to have something on the sea and it had to be hot," Pascaline says.
"Some of the properties were stunning but there was not love there. We kept heading north. Shane stopped at Bargara Real Estate and saw this. We went walking and thought 'what a great beach'. Both of us looked at each other and said 'it is fantastic'.
"We have a brand that is zen. We want you to embody happiness."
Pascaline, a former marketer, has returned to her love of natural therapy and hopes to infuse health and wellness retreats into the property where Shane will use his corporate background for corporate retreats.
"I found a lot of companies are losing their way. The way to innovate and keep their team motivated," Shane says.
"What we've got here is a recovery treatment and corporate retreat. We are not rushing and pressured so we can do it well."

4. The Brewer

Bundaberg's newest brewery operator knows a thing or two about the brewing business. Kalki Moon Distilling Company owner Rick Prosser was a blender at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and also a master distiller before he eventually decided to open the doors on his own business. While, under law, his rum has to sit in barrels for two years and will not be ready until 2019, in the meantime, he is busy brewing and selling vodka and gin.
"I've got a good name in the industry and I wanted to leverage off of that. I love the alcohol industry. It is such as great industry and distillers are like one big community," Rick says.
"The craft industries are in such a boom. People are getting more fussy about how they want to spend their money and they want to see where it came from."
Rick assures rum drinkers his mid to premium rum will be worth the wait.
"That's what my name is synonymous with. The most refreshing part of this venture so far has been the gin because gin is in such growth at the moment," he says.
"It's been so well received in Bundy. It is very refreshing to see a new customer face-to-face.
"What tastes good to me must taste good to the consumers as well."

 

5. The Foodie

It seems incongruous that in a produce-rich region such as Bundaberg North Burnett, that no one had set up a food tour before now. But that's how it was until Suzie Clarke decided to inject her passion, and professional experience surrounding food, into establishing Bundy Food Tours in 2016. This humble Home Economics teacher won't tell you straight up, but she brings incredible knowledge to this business. A former commercial cook, she travelled to Paris in 1992 and studied the art of French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu. She has served as a private cook; travelled widely throughout Europe and Asia; and worked in Melbourne before establishing a catering business in Tropical North Queensland. But these days you'll find her in the Bundaberg North Burnett Region, getting her hands dirty along with the farmers and producers, on her Bundy Food Tours. Suzie starts each tour by handing every guest a passionfruit, demonstrating her "passion" for food.

 

 This blog was written by Christine Retschlag from The Global Goddess. Christine visited our beautiful region thanks to our incredible members and Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism.

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

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