Living Locally #12 Katie Baddock, Groundstone & Agrestic Grocerali
If you haven’t been to The Agrestic Grocer or Groundstone put it in your diary to get there, asap! Nestled in the heart of Orange you will find Groundstone. You’ll be blown away by its contemporary feel, delicious brekky, lunch and yummy coffee. An added bonus, its open seven days a week! The Agrestic Grocer resides on the outskirt of Orange. It is a unique experience of shopping, dining and live music. Both businesses are the handiwork of Katie Baddock along with her husband, Beau. Katie is the definition of ‘boss lady’, running businesses, family and doing it all with creativity and confidence. I had the pleasure of chatting with Katie about life, work and of course fashion.
Have you always lived in Orange? What made you come and stay here?
I have only been living in Orange since 2009. However, I did spend most of my school holidays through primary and high school here in Orange, mainly following my Dad around fruit orchards. My Dad moved to Orange when I was 5yrs old, and both my Mum and Dad’s families are from farms around Cowra, so I have always had a connection to Central West NSW and Orange. My husband Beau and I moved to Orange from Sydney in 2009 when Beau decided to move from Architecture to helping Dad out on the orchards, I, in turn, moved from my corporate life in Sydney too.
What is the best part of living in Orange?
The best part about living in Orange for me is definitely the community and the fantastic surrounding farming, food and wine culture. I spent most of my schooling and early adulthood in Sydney where ultimately you are anonymous. As amazing as that is sometimes, it is even more amazing knowing that you will go down the street tomorrow and you’ll know the name possibly of every second person you pass.
This was very evident this year when Beau was in the Cancer Council’s Stars of Orange Dance for Cancer, and somehow we managed to raise $21,000. This would not have been possible had it not been for the amazing community we live in and the support, specifically of our fellow hospitality colleagues, businesses and our customers.
We are very grateful that we live in such a unique and diverse city that allows us to not only live and work but also know where our food comes from. We know who grew and picked our fruit, the person who roasted our coffee and the farmer who grew, picked and made the wine that we love to drink.
What’s is your favourite time of the year in Orange?
My favourite time of the year in Orange, without hesitation, is autumn. I love when the weather cools down after summer and when all the trees, gardens and orchards in and around Orange change colour. I love taking the kids out of town to pick their own fruit on one of our friend’s orchards and sitting with friends outside around a fire with a great glass of local wine or beer.
How did you get into the café business?
I have always had a keen interest in food; I love cooking but don’t have much time for it anymore. Thank goodness we have an amazing kitchen team at Groundstone and Agrestic. I have always had a keen interest in local produce too and spent much of my weekends as a teenager selling the produce my Dad had grown in Orange with him at Sydney Farmers Markets. While working in the Sydney corporate world, before moving to Orange, I also dabbled in areas of events.
Between these and the move to Orange, the cafe industry kind of just fell in to my lap a bit. It was definitely nothing I thought I would ever end up doing as a career.
Groundstone is renowned for its great coffee and delicious brekky, what is your go to coffee and brekky order?
Thank You…it is probably a bit clique but I do love our Smashed Avocado and a Piccolo. Our Barista team keep me well caffeinated. But, there is also nothing quite as good as Vegemite and butter on our chargrilled toast, which is my most frequent go to brekky.
What is your favourite part of having and running your own business?
There are probably two main things. One is having the overall creative direction, being able to create something that you love and sharing it with people.
Secondly, I think it is really important to push your boundaries. Being a mum, a wife, a friend, a female, a boss (I hate that word) but all of these come with their own responsibilities both positive and negative. I constantly have the guilts about not being a good enough mum because I do work a lot. I hope that one day our boys will see how hard we work and they will have an amazing work ethic. I learnt this work ethic from my family and my previous employers and I hope that maybe I can be this same person to my team as well. I definitely would not be where I am today or have the skills I do without the support of my team, my family or the mentors that I have learnt from.
It is really, really hard work running your own business (or two of them), it is definitely not all sunshine and roses, but it is very rewarding.
When you aren’t working what is your favourite thing to do, where would we find you hanging out?
We have always felt it is really important to support local businesses and especially other small family run businesses. If we happen to have 5 seconds to ourselves or a rare day off, you’ll probably find us either at The Collective, The Sonic or Bills East. All three cover us for great food and coffee, retail therapy, my green thumb obsession and of course great banter with lovely people. If its a rare date night, that of course all of us parents crave, we have three go to drinking holes, either Union Bank, Percys or of course Washington & Co. which is a Groundstone crew favourite.
What is your go-to outfit? What do you put on that always feels right?
I’m really boring, but with two little boys and a super busy lifestyle, my go to outfit is definitely a great pair of jeans, really comfortable sneakers or flats and a t-shirt or jumper. I’m pretty sensible when it comes to day to day dressing but love to throw on a colourful or textured scarf or funky pair of earrings to finish off a sensible work or mum outfit.
What is your favourite label at Belle Armoire?
Ahhh… its too hard to pick just one. Although I am not a particularly ‘girly’ dresser, I love the feminine nature of Spell. But I also love the Betty Basics range as it is a great ‘go to’ option as well as being super reasonable. Then there are the ‘oh so comfortable’ denim jeans by Nobody Denim. You can’t fail with any of these.
Images: Photography by Pip