Editorial: Champions of the hospitality industry

Lisa Portolan
Mon 07 Aug

This week we’re talking about the hospitality industry.

Too often we view the hospitality industry as peripheral, a little fluffy and potentially lacking in substance. A transient industry, ephemeral, somewhat intangible industry — bars, restaurants and shops open and close around us, an ever rotating door. Faces come and go and bar themes and ideas seem to be seasonal and as short-lived as trends, staff move about, on the ever changing hospitality treadmill.


Agostini's at East Hotel


But many of us have had dreams of pursuing that hospitality dream. Maybe a bar or a restaurant, a quiet thought, of how we could change things, realise something great and even maybe our own potential.

So this week we wanted to talk to the hospitality entrepreneurs that are bringing more to their work. The ones that don’t just want to do something lasting, but want to change their industry and in many cases the world. Their ideas, passions and motivations are transcendental. It’s not just about the hospitality industry for them, but the experience their customers have, and how this experience grows and blossoms into a movement.   


Ramzay Choker (r) at The Grounds of Alexandria

Emblematic of this visionary style of management is Ramzey Choker from The Grounds of Alexandria. Ramzey, a true rags to riches tail, learnt from his father’s bankruptcy, and decided he wanted to do something truly visionary, creating a virtual oasis within Alexandria—one of the most industrial areas of Sydney, city.

“My vision is one of beauty. I want to challenge people and their perceptions. I want them to walk through the Grounds and have a genuine experience of a beautiful place which transports them to somewhere else,” said Ramzey.

We’ll be releasing some short videos of the Ramzey interview, as well as a podcast of the full interview, conducted by CEO of The Mark Agency, Tristan Maddigan. During this interview we got a strong understanding of what drives Ramzey, his vision, the future, and the nuts and bolts of the business.

We’re also talking to some of the movers and shakers of the hospitality industry in Canberra.


Buvette at The Realm

Finally, we’ll be talking to Vicky Gallachan owner and founder of Rockstars and Royalty, a true rebel and revolutionary. She’s changing the way we see fashion, sustainability and the concept of “new” clothes. Vicky writes, “After spending eighteen years hidden away in my studio designing and creating elaborate couture gowns for my clients, I finally found the courage to take my own advice and follow my own dreams … and Rockstars and Royalty as you know it was born.”

So this week we challenge you to be inspired, to follow your own dreams, to not just imagine it but do it. Too often we’re afraid of our potential success. What would happen if you did give it a go? What would happen if you gave it a go and you failed? And, what happened if you gave it a go and suddenly became a raving success?

Sometimes what holds us back the most is that finality of knowing, of living it tangibly.

For me the greatest regret is lost potential. The “what ifs” are the ones that haunt me the most.

Amongst these stories, we hope you find the one, which lets you take that final step and follow your heart.