Number of bottles saved so far: One location 28,000+
Who we chatted with: Heath Bambridge
Time in the coffee/hospitality industry: 15-16 years
Business Name: The Boathouse Group
Shelly Beach – 1 Marine Parade, Shelly Beach; (02) 9974 5440
Palm Beach – Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach; (02) 9974 5440
Balmoral Beach – 2 The Esplanade, Balmoral; (02) 9974 5440
Patonga – 6-8 Patonga Drive, Patonga; (02) 9974 5440
Who am I?
I’m Heath Bambridge, from the Northern Beaches of Sydney. We are fortunate enough to operate a few cafes; The Boathouse at Shelley Beach, Balmoral Beach, and Palm Beach, an event centre called Moby Dicks in whale beach, and a little Deli a few doors down. We have a small site that combines a homewares and bakery store called The Boathouse Home + Bakery at Palm Beach. We also have just recently opened a hotel in Patonga and become the new custodians of a restaurant in Palm Beach called Barrenjoey House.
What made you decide to go into cafe/restaurant operations?
I have always enjoy hospitality from an early age. I like people having a good time – that’s how it all started – and I just fell into it from there really. Once you’re in, it’s too much fun to leave.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Well the answer is actually Andrew + Pip Goldsmith – they started the business and I was lucky enough to meet them both shortly after. It was bred out of a beautiful location: it was a cafe in an operating boat shed at Palm Beach and it’s naturally evolved into what it is today. They created something that you wanted to be a part of.
We hope that everyone working with us shares the belief that life’s short and you have got to have fun and enjoy what you doing. We feel fortunate to be able to wake up everyday still enjoying every aspect of what we do.
Each time we do a new venues, the mistakes you can are countless… haha… It’s learning process, you just want to try again and improve on the next one.
What was your mission at the outset?
We didn’t have one…haha. We were all just enjoying what we were doing, and it evolved into a career for us all. It’s been great – a natural and organic development.
What is your vision long term?
We want to keep improving each day on our existing venues and we hope to keep creating fun, enjoyable experiences for people, hopefully having the opportunity to work alongside more and more passionate and interesting people. We hope we can just keep making people happy
To what do you attribute your success to?
All the brilliant people we work with.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t think about it too much! Do what makes you feel good and have fun, the rest will work itself out.
Six Simple Machines believes in six simple philosophies of good business – To be Sustainable, Ethical, Efficient, Profitable, Innovative and Passionate.
What are your thoughts on these philosophies? Are these in line with how you run your business?
Definitely. Most of those words are really something that most businesses would want to align with. There’s not one of these philosophies you would disagree with. I think they just take turns in being priorities at different times of your life and business growth.
To do the right things by people – the people that we work with, to the impact we have on the community. We’ve always aimed to be the heart of the community, from produce to our menus. We try to have a positive impact.
How did you come across The Juggler?
Our coffee supplier took us to the Six Simple Machines to check out The Juggler years ago in its early stages. It was a bit out of our price range at the time – we were a smaller business back then – but few years down the track we had grown to a stage where we could finally afford one and waste became an issue for us financially and ethically. We’ve never looked back. Now all our venues have a Juggler.
As for the team, they love it. I think after you’ve used one, it’s hard to ever use a plastic bottle again. Guests are blown away too! They are amazed that it’s meant to save on milk waste but also reduce the plastic consumed.
So far, cafes and restaurants using The Juggler have prevented the use of over 18,000,000 single-use 2Lt plastic milk bottles. How do you feel about that?
It feels great! 18 million is a huge number, no matter what you’re counting haha… With everyone being so aware of the impact that plastic has on the environment, it definitely makes us feel good and something you want to share with the rest of the local and global community!