Generous & loyal Katie Baddock has created a space that is more than just eating and drinking. Groundstone Cafe is a haven bringing the community of Orange together.
Tell us about Groundstone Cafe.
Groundstone is located in the heart of Orange’s Museum and Gallery precinct, serving the Orange community and visitors delicious food and drink seven days a week. Over the last couple of years, it has also become one of Orange’s leading caterers and event suppliers. From small business catering to large-scale weddings and specialty styling, including involvement in events such as Steve Cordony and Rosedale Masterclasses and Events, NSW Tourism events, catering for Jumbled’s, The Huddle and smaller, more intimate curated events and many of Orange’s best local properties and vineyards.
What is unique about Groundstone?
Groundstone is unique because of our team, our connections with local producers and our community. We push the envelope with everything we do and try to tell our story in front and behind the scenes the best we can. We pride ourselves on being different from everyone else in our industry but also strive to create great relationships with them. Many people see our competitors as just that, but we see them as friends who push us to do better and work harder. These healthy relationships make our industry in Orange what it is.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
At the moment, the most rewarding aspect of owning my own business is the opportunity to use my platform and knowledge to support amazing people or groups in our community to do amazing things. Or to raise awareness for them. I get a kick out of being someone’s hype girl, whether it be my head chef and pushing for the recognition she deserves or a friend in local business and giving them a pep talk about something that has got them down and getting their head back in the game.
I am often told I should take my own advice, but we all know, as women in business, this isn’t something we’re always good at doing. I am even getting behind local charities and community groups.
This year, I have been on the organising committee for Birds in The Bush, and in September 2023, I will finally be running the first Empty Bowls Orange Event. A collaboration between local hospitality venues, Chefs and creatives, including ceramicists and artists, to raise awareness and fight hunger and homelessness in our community, one bowl at a time.
As business leaders in our community, it is our role to give back to the fantastic people who support us daily.
Are there challenges you have had to overcome?
Coming into Hospitality with a Human Resources background, I was probably more aware of some of the HR challenges in business than others, but hospitality is another beast, unlike any other industry. Especially when it comes to staffing, this is a constant challenge for anyone in the hospitality industry.
The other challenge was most definitely confidence: the confidence to back yourself, your team and your ideas. I truly believe in surrounding yourself with people who will tell you the brutal truth and push you up. They will give you the confidence to try hard and scary things but also be there to push you up again if something doesn’t work or fails and to make you try again.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Be humble, have a safe inner circle and hype team, do not get caught up in all the noise and make opportunities for yourself. If you work towards these things, do the hard work and stick to your own path, you will reach your goals. Don’t expect things to happen because you think you deserve it or are entitled to them. And don’t forget to look back at how far you have come. Many of us are so busy looking forward and at the next goal that we forget to look back and see what we have accomplished.
Where do you envision yourself in five years?
Turning 40 this year has got me thinking about what is next and what legacy I want to leave behind. I would love to be able to share my knowledge and passion for running businesses and teams. I get a kick out of growing businesses and helping them find ways to strive. I have had some fantastic mentors during my varied career, and I am forever grateful for what they taught me and how they guided me. I want to be that for others, too. I will continue to create beautiful experiences through food and events. This has always been in my blood, like farming and the land.
Location: Orange, NSW
Photography: Kirsten Cunningham