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As humble as they come, Rachel Fowler compares owning your own business to managing waves in the surf. But as she comes up for air to get ready for the next one, she is not scared, but content knowing she has created a place that is vibrant and welcoming to all.

Tell us a little about The Press.

Fundamentally speaking, The Press is a cafe that offers simple food done well, focusing on classic flavor combinations, but with our own spin. But to me, The Press is more than just that. It’s about the people and the importance of community. W hen customers visit, we want them to feel like they are taking time out of their day. It’s important to us that they enjoy being there.

What is unique about The Press?

I don’t think The Press is unique; if it is, it shouldn’t be! The Press is a special place, and I genuinely feel that I haven’t had one bad day since we opened. Every business owner deserves to feel that way. So in that regard, I hope many places like The Press exist.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?

Seeing things come together is incredibly rewarding. W hen you have a vision, you hope that people will buy into it, but when that happens, and you realise it has happened, it is an incredible feeling. Everyone says everything will fall into place one day, and it does.

What promoted your move back to Regional NSW?

I grew up in Young, NSW, and have spent the last 10+ years living in Sydney and London. Covid ended up being the reason I moved out of the city. I spent a lot of time on our family farm during the lockdowns, and in a short amount of time, it became evident that Sydney wasn’t home for me anymore.Moving to regional NSW has also allowed me to do something that would have been that much harder in the city financially. I’m so glad I’ve moved to Wagga. I’ve lived in great places with great people but have never been happier than I am here.

What's the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?

I wouldn’t say advice; it is an analog y that I like. My Dad says owning a business is like being in the surf. You go under a huge wave, and you’ve got to get up quickly and take a breath to get ready to go through the next one. Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes, you get knocked about! It’s how I feel about running The Press, but it is also what I love about starting my own business.

Do you have a woman leader as a mentor, or are there specific women who inspired you and why?

I’ve worked with loads of great women, and I still do. The most significant thing I have learnt from female leaders is that you can still be kind, caring, friendly, and the boss. There has been a shift from when I started my career to now. Women are beginning to realise that it can be a strength if that is who you are.

The hospitality industry can be tiresome. What do you do to look after your health and well-being?

We’ve only been open for six months, so until recently, there hasn’t been time for much else outside of work. The days are long, and I’m learning as I go. Adrenaline can only keep you going for so long. I’ve cried a lot. There have been happy tears, sad tears, and tired tears. It doesn’t help that I’m an emotional person!Now though, I have a more balanced working routine, spending time in the shop but also spending time planning for what’s next. I go to the g ym when I can, and recently I stepped away for a five-day holiday, which I could only do because of my strong and supportive team. I’ve hit the jackpot with the staff at The Press (and they are all women)!

What's on the horizon for the Press Wagga Wagga in 2023?

I’m currently working on plans for a co-working space out the back of the shop. I’ve met loads of people here who are still working from home and are looking for somewhere they can go and get some faux workmates! I found working from home hard. I couldn’t focus when working so close to my fridge and TV.


Photography: Kelly Donnelly


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