This was a blog/local paper article that I wrote last year. It is the first part of 3 and leads into a final article on service and reviews.

Kangaroo Valley was well represented recently in the South Coast Tourism Awards for Excellence. The awards covered hundreds of businesses across a huge area from the Illawarra to the Eurobodalla area. Barrengarry Farm Cottages, owned by Gai and Barry Faulkes won the GOLD award for their tourist accommodation in the unique accommodation category. Crystal Creek Meadows was inducted into the Hall of Fame for having achieved GOLD awards three times in the past for Awards for Excellence. Bistro One46, owned by Nicole and Gerald Poelzl, received the SILVER award in the Tourism Restaurant category.

Bistro One46 owners also attended the Restaurant Caterer Association (RCA) Savour Awards as finalists in the New Restaurant category. This was won by Wharf Rd in Nowra. We were privileged to be in company with restaurants with impeccable reputations.

At the RCA awards, Bob Baldwin, then Shadow Minister for Tourism, presented the “Three Ps of Hospitality” which are: People Product & Passion.

People refers to the customers and staff of a business. It is elemental to focus on what the customer wants and to have staff who are trained to give the service necessary to fulfil this. At Bistro One46, our customers are more than simply consumers. They are friends who we are glad to welcome back, be it weekly, seasonally or annually. For us, this personal relationship with customers is one of the things that makes working in hospitality & tourism enjoyable.

As well as focusing on the customer, businesses also need to appreciate their staff, because they are the “front” of the business. Without staff to greet customers appropriately and to serve customers professionally and courteously, there is no hospitality. Staff refers to the team – every person who works in a business – even if they do not interact with the customers. We employ about ten staff, most of whom are local. Our customers appreciate that our staff are local – often asking unusual questions – eg. what is this thistle that I rubbed against or where to visit in Kangaroo Valley.

Restaurants are more than just a meal, though what is served on the plate is paramount to their success. This is the Product. We use fresh, seasonal produce that is sourced locally where feasible. We are lucky in Kangaroo Valley to have suppliers who deliver regularly and help us source good produce. Building a small business in a small town, it is important to have a good rapport with suppliers. We enjoy and appreciate the support that we have from other small businesses in Kangaroo Valley and around. In a small community it is important to support each other in any way we can.

The thing that ties all this together is Passion. Gerald has been a chef for twenty years and still enjoys serving meals that are cooked with love. Meals that customers love for their freshness and flavour. Our passion, and the reason we chose to stay in Kangaroo Valley after the Bowling Club closed, is our fondness for the rare beauty of the valley as well as the community. We intentionally open early in the week to provide a restaurant service for people who live here as well as to support the accommodation providers – to provide choice for their guests visiting the valley mid-week. We are delighted to be a part of what Kangaroo Valley has to offer – both locals and tourists alike. We have some great businesses in Kangaroo Valley who are competitive with any of the current award winners. We hope in future years we will see more local businesses represented in the awards.