Celebrating 10 years in business are the beautiful owners of Bittersweet Café and Pâtisserie at Lighthouse Beach. We catch up with Georgia and Lance and find out what their secret to success really is.
Congratulations Georgia and Lance – 10 years in business! This is an awesome achievement. What are you most proud of?
Thanks so much – ten years! We still can’t quite believe it ourselves!
After only working with each other for a few months before buying Bittersweet, and to have now worked beside each other for 10 years and be happily married is a pretty good effort in itself, we think.
We are very proud that we have been able to juggle anywhere between one and five kids along the way and a business that runs seven days a week with a team of 12 staff. It’s certainly an achievement and one where we are still striving to balance work and family every day.
We are also most definitely proud of the fact that we have kept our product and service, not only of a high standard, but extremely consistent over the ten years. We try very hard to work closely with our team, customers, and suppliers to keep Bittersweet running at its most productive. We know ourselves how much we like to expect consistency; as a consumer, we will always return to a place that continually offers this.
You have a gorgeous family who have been on this business journey with you. Can you introduce them to us?
Ahh yes, talk about doing our share of keeping the population growing in Australia. Not just one kiddie but five!
We started Bittersweet In December 2008, when our eldest, Isabella, was six months old. It was a huge task ahead of us as first time parents, as well as first time business owners. What a sleepless, crazy first year we had, and in that same year we welcomed our first son, Xavier. Then to keep the consistency of our crazy life going, in next few years we had Charlotte, Malachi and Sebastian. As of 2015, the only new family member we were welcoming was our four legged golden Cocker Spaniel, Miss Prada, number six in the Dunn tribe.
What are your tips for balancing work/life/family/hobbies?
Well, this is where we are still in an ongoing learning curve. Balance is definitely hard to achieve. We love taking the kids away on short trips not too far from home. As you can imagine, travelling with five kids long distances, you end up needing a holiday at the end, right?
We are so lucky we live in this beautiful spot on the Mid North Coast, with an abundance of places to escape the daily grind. I also take any chance where I can book a kid-free weekend away. The RnR it gives us to keep the mind, body and soul recharged.
Come December, there is more to the workload; Lance loves using our house as a massive cake and gets into the Christmas spirit and decorates it with an amazing light display.
What is it that has kept Bittersweet open for 10 years and going from strength to strength?
As we mentioned before, we believe our consistency and always striving to give each and every customer the service that we would like to receive. We are so proud of the Bittersweet family that we have created up at the Lighthouse Beach shops. Our team do such a great job at looking after our customers!
Our chefs and apprentices also do an amazing job! We can boast that we do make everything on premises. Lance and I are only two ingredients of our cake and without all our team adding their important elements, our continual growth would not occur.
And of course, our biggest strength is keeping everyone’s sweet tooth for handmade goodness alive. We offer a unique display of up to 30 different cakes, tarts and much more that are made on the premises daily. Lance is still, 20 years after doing his pastry training overseas, coming up with new flavour combos and recipes. He still gets such a kick out of making our most popular cakes from ten years ago – one being our Mango and Passionfruit Roulade.
We stick to what we do best and know what our customers like, and it hasn’t failed us yet.
What are you goals and plans for the next five years?
Our biggest and foremost goal is to continue to be great parents to our kids and enjoy them, whilst continuing to provide our loyal regular customers and newcomers alike with a high standard of customer service, for which we have become known for. Lance will still, in years to come, be making cakes that taste like grandma made them, presented by a chef of today. I absolutely love making every customer their liquid cup of gold each day, and I will never tire of this.
Is there anyone you would like to thank, who has been there along the way or helped with the café?
We would definitely love to thank our families. They have been a great support with their time, especially when it comes to looking after kids, and have been our sounding boards when we have needed it.
Those who are regulars at Bittersweet, would have seen the café underwent a major renovation at the end of 2017, which we are very proud of and love – with much thanks to my sister, Paula Stone, a local Port Macquarie architect.
The staff that we have had along the way and our current staff. Thanks for sharing our vision and treating the place like it is your own – a true family run business in every sense of the word.
There is one supplier in particular we would like to mention, and that is Kenny and his wonderful team from Kenny Little’s Fruit & Veg! These guys have looked after us for 10 years and are always happy to help when we need something particular sourced and just have great quality produce.
And of course, YOU – our customers! We wouldn’t be here if you didn’t take part and share in our daily grind at Bittersweet. Here’s to another 10 years!