May 23-29, 2019 Dubbo Photo News
Because the Dubbo Region is the best place to build your career DUBBO WORKS is highlighting the excellent career and learning opportunities the Dubbo region offers. DUBBO WORKS is a community-building initiative brought to you by Fletcher International Exports and Dubbo Photo News. To contribute ideas, email email@example.com phone 6885 4433.
SMALL BUSINESS CAREER
Local bar scene gets shaken, not stirred By LYDIA PEDRANA
EXPLORING the ‘what if’ has been Tenelle Bond’s philosophy while making her lifelong dream to open a bar come true. As the brains behind Dubbo’s hottest new concept venue, The Establishment Bar, Mrs Bond and her husband Robert have spent the last five years perfecting their vision before taking the plunge and opening the doors to the 1930s speakeasy-inspired lounge in February. “The passion never died for me. I hit so many road blocks over those five years, I questioned and wondered whether I was doing the right thing for my family, but what have we got to lose,” Mrs Bond told Dubbo Photo News. “If it doesn’t work, we can bounce back. We are young enough to go and get another job. But what if it works?” Now, only three months in, it’s working. Having been in the hospitality industry most of her life, Mrs Bond saw a gap for a niche bar in the Dubbo market. “I’ve always had a bit of a passion for opening my own little café bar and we thought Dubbo was relatively untouched so why not take the punt and go for it,” she said.
“I’ve always had a bit of a nostalgic sense about me and I love the idea of living the old through the new. I really wanted to create that old jazz club vibe, a lounge bar-feel, where you could just go and hangout and it’s what Dubbo was missing.” Describing it as “moody and intimate”, Mrs Bond wants The Establishment Bar to be on par with any metro venue. “My whole ambition is to give people an experience that they don’t have to drive four hours to have,” she said. “Just because we are in a rural town, it doesn’t mean that we should miss out. It shouldn’t mean we can’t have the little luxuries that people have in the city.” The Bonds are also attempting to offer a point of difference when it comes to opening hours, running a Thursday to Monday operation. “There’s no 9 to 5 anymore, there’s no Monday to Friday, and a lot of us work in hospitality or the service industry,” Mrs Bond explained. “By opening Sundays and Mondays when a lot of other places around town are closed, gives these workers somewhere to go.” With a lengthy spirit menu, live entertainment and cock-
tail specials, it’s little wonder the lounge has been warmly received by the community. “It’s so nice when people walk through the door and say, ‘Oh wow I wasn’t expecting this’ or ‘This doesn’t feel like we are in Dubbo,’” Mrs Bond laughed. “It’s been very well received so far but there’s still a lot of people who don’t know about us or don’t know where to find us. In line with the speakeasy vibe, we aren’t exactly hidden, but we are off the beaten track. It’s like a little adult treasure hunt I think.” And although things are going well so far, Mrs Bond is calling for the community to continue to support small businesses in the area. “If you drive down the main street in Dubbo, there’s so many shops here – and people are wanting them – but people also need to get out and support them because owners can’t sustain their businesses if you don’t go and visit them.” The Establishment Bar is located in Macquarie Street, near the Old Dubbo Gaol. ••• Tenelle Bond started planning to start her own business, The Establishment Bar, ﬁve years ago. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS/EMY LOU PHOTOGRAPHY
Sand Goanna owner says: ‘Never take a step back’ By JOHN RYAN TOM Saul is barely into his 20s and yet he’s already made a significant career change, transitioning from being a tradie making benches people eat food off, into serving the food they’re eating. “I used to be a cabinet maker and now I own the Sand Goanna – a big difference,” Mr Saul said. The Sand Goanna has been one of this year’s success stories in the CBD and he says interacting with multitudes of customers has been a challenge, but a great learning experience. “It’s definitely a big learning curve: the customer service behind everything, the different people you have to deal with, and the people you meet is awesome as well.” Dubbo Photo News asked the young café owner if the customer is always right. “Yeah, definitely, except for when they’re not,” Mr Saul
Tom Saul will use his 12-month apprenticeship at a ﬁve-star resort near Uluru to learn the high-level skills he wants to bring back to his Dubbo cafe. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS
said. His pathway to this new career was an unexpected one. It was only four years ago that Tom Saul, along with
the rest of the family, discovered they had Indigenous heritage. About a year ago he applied for an Indigenous hospitality traineeship but hadn’t heard back
about his chances. “I was out of a job and Mum asked me if I was interested in managing the Sand Goanna for her if she bought it. I had a bit of mon-
ey saved up so I bought it with her and was thrown into it,” Mr Saul said. “I came in blind really and I’ve just learnt so much. There’s not one big thing that I’ve learnt, it’s everything really. We’re getting awesome feedback, everyone loves the coffee, loves the food... honestly, you couldn’t wish for anything else. “Our chef’s awesome. She was working here when we bought the place and we made her head chef and she’s just taken off with it,” he said. There is a twist to this story – just as he was getting into the swing of serving his customers at his new business, Mr Saul heard good news about the hospitality traineeship he had applied for. Now he’s in the industry, he sees it as a sign he’s taken the right path. “I’m going off to Ayers Rock Resort, a five-star resort about half an hour away from Uluru. I’m do-
ing an Indigenous traineeship through them for 12 months, so learning about all aspects of the industry from leaders in the field will be invaluable for when I come back home,” Mr Saul said. “It’s going to be awesome for me, I can’t wait for the experience out there and all the knowledge I’ll get from it, and I’ll definitely come back and help run the café again. It’s only a 12-month traineeship. “I never knew that we were Indigenous until about three or four years ago, and since then it’s been so spiritual to find out so much about the culture, my family, the past, our heritage – and the sand goanna is our totem animal,” he explained. Mr Saul believes there’s so much untapped potential in regional Australia and has this simple advice for other young people when it comes to having a go: “Go for it – like, never take a step back.”
Dubbo Photo News May 23-29, 2019