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Business in Focus – Julie’s Place Posted on October 9, 2018
Before winning MasterChef Australia in 2009, Julie was involved in the day to day running of the family business, Loyal IT Solutions. She still remains a business owner and is now responsible for the company’s marketing and team building events. Julie says “Although I loved my role in Loyal IT Solutions, and do stay involved with that business, the opportunity to make food my primary focus has been a dream come true. MasterChef has given me the opportunity to cook for a living.”
For the past five years Julie has worked in television and magazines, as well as alongside corporations, and has had the opportunity to even publish her own cookbooks which then inspired her to open her own business – a cooking school on the Central Coast!
“A cooking school was a better business model for me than a restaurant, as it allows more flexibility of hours, more variety in the day-to-day operations and it fulfills my passion, which is to show people how easy it really is to make great food for your own family in your own home.”
Julie and her team are focused on getting the cooking school to be a world-class facility, putting systems and procedures into place to help achieve that goal. Having booked a lot more corporate work than originally anticipated, Julie sees that her class numbers are growing significantly which seems to be building a great picture of what people want.
In the next 12 months, Julie hopes to be selling out her cooking classes, as well as catering to corporate need for team building and staff training. She also expects to run regular special events such as beer and cheese matching, Melbourne Cup, etc.
Since the start-up of Julie’s Place, time management and marketing has proven to be a major challenge – “While we put the right people in place we are wearing all the hats!” says Julie.
The team at Robson Partners were proud to be Julie’s first set of corporate clients in July, where they participated in multiple cooking challenges and gained valuable team building skills. Julie said, “It was great for us to run our first team building day with people who we knew (as long-term and valuable clients of Loyal IT Solutions). Robson Partners has helped us to market to the local community as well as via their connections – we are so very grateful.”
Julie’s team has “buckled down” and worked very hard to ensure the smooth launch and opening months of Julie’s Place – “Every single person involved has gone above and beyond the call of duty to see to it that visitors have an excellent experience. We are all learning together.”
Since opening just over 2 months ago, Julie’s Place has been a major sponsor for Coast Shelter’s Zoo and Snooze night recently, and will continue to support and celebrate local producers and businesses in every way that they can.
As a start-up business, Julie’s mindset is and always has been very simple – “Proceed as if success is inevitable.”
“Building Julie’s Place has been wonderful and we are looking forward to many years of welcoming people through the doors, cooking together, sharing a meal, and sending them off with a full belly, some new skills, and some great memories!”