Who are your neighbours?

Knowing your community network is something which we’ve mentioned in passing in several previous blogs on maximizing your sustainability in business. Your local community can reveal connections and opportunities which can prove to strengthen your brand position, form happy alliances and give you some great ideas on how to best direct your marketing strategies.

This week Do Re Media hit the streets in our local community to meet some fellow business owners and aren’t we glad we did! Here’s a little vid of our adventures.

Our first stop, drawn in by the promise of homemade goodies and great coffee was Sip-N-Tuck, a cheery whistle-stop café just down from the Bayswater station. Having noticed a growing morning crowd there over the past few weeks, we were curious to find out why.

Owner/operators Helen and Marc took over the café in February, and upon setting foot inside it was clear they were all about simple, fresh-made food. Helen spoke with us about getting to know the local clientele, the change from greasetrap food to fresh, nourishing food, and the value in making time to make real connections with regulars.

The passion shared by Helen and experienced chef Marc is clearly visible in the way they describe their customers, food and community. The word-of-mouth marketing is working for them so they are still in the works with their online platforms. But if you’re in the area be sure to drop in.

Next stop was The Bayswater Hotel. An institution in the area from 1898 the hotel has been in the hands of the current owners for the past 35 years. The hotel is huge, with much of the space being dedicated to the Bistro, which is clearly a key focus for business. We spoke with long-term operations manager Bruce about the hotel’s history, its local clientele and the part it plays as a hub for community groups. We chatted as we watched the pizza dough being thrown into shape in preparation for the pizza oven which roars in full view of the diners.

It was time for lunch so we made way to our last stop in nearby Bassendean.

Something is happening in Bassendean that makes our community senses tingle. The united move toward a boutique district has seen a successful turn-about for the culture of the Old Perth Road strip. Those who are committed to participating in this maturation of good ol’ Basso, are working together to raise the tone of the precinct, and are proving the importance of community as they do so.

Rhian Malone, manager of To the Woods, has embedded her business-practices in some great sustainability initiatives (from food scraps being doled out to the local resident chickens, to sourcing the best locally grown produce.) But most impressive was Rhian’s approach to local business – which is simply about being authentically connected, Rhian’s passion about the vision To the Woods shares with other culturally responsible neighbours was near-on intoxicating.

The results are clearly evident; the food is incredible, the staff are happy, and relationships with other vendors on the strip are positive and co-beneficial. Seeing how well-connected To the Woods is to other businesses in the area, really reinforced to us the value of going that step beyond your customers when identifying your stakeholders. By intertwining with other local businesses, To the Woods have become stitched into the fabric of a local community, showing genuine generosity for their vendor colleagues. They even show encouragement and support for their direct competition!

Confident, community-conscious and committed, To the Woods demonstrate exactly what can be gained from patching into the people in your neighbourhood. A sustainable position within a community culture.

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