I want you to meet my friends, Karina and Clinton. They both live, breathe and love food and are doing what a lot of us never get around to – taking a leap of faith and making their dream a reality.
After working in restaurants and kitchens around the world, they are opening their own joint called, Tuck Shop Take Away. Each week they’ll be sharing with us the high, lows and in-betweens of turning a gem of an idea into a business.
Tuck Shop Take Away isn’t just about food either. It’s about dreaming, creating, family and a whole lot of hard work.
I’ll let Karina tell you more…
“Getting the right idea and getting the idea right…”
This is my motto and my motivation at the moment, and it couldn’t be more fitting or relevant.
Hi my name is Karina and I’m a wife, mum, pastry chef, food obsessive and soon to be business owner (arghhh, still so surreal to be saying that!).
When Clare asked me if I’d be up for doing a piece for Checks and Spots about the journey we are undertaking, realising our dreams and making it a reality, I jumped at the chance because for one she is an awesome lady, as is her blog, and two I’d love nothing more than to share our journey with her readers.
As I mentioned before, I’m a pastry chef and have been cooking for 14 years. My husband is a waiter and has been since he could legally work but before that was still in and around restaurants because he was practically raised in one.
We met in a restaurant and being in one feels like home to both of us, we love our jobs and the industry – we live and breathe food.
We have always wanted to do something of our own and over the years have dreamed, throwing ideas back and fourth over tipsy dinners. And honestly, I’m so glad it is happening now and not six years ago, because our direction and ideas are more refined and at a time when we have our little family to consider, we feel we have found the perfect recipe for success, both for us and for Melbourne food lovers.
The move to open our own business all came about quite quickly when my husband rang me and said, “Be home by 3.00 because were going to view a commercial property at 3.30!” I was taken by surprise as we had planned to “put the wheels in motion” and look at starting our own business in 2014 when our eldest started school. I went along with an open mind, what harm could looking do? It was a space he had driven past on his way to work at Attica for nearly a year and he always looked at it and thought it had great potential. This day he drove past it had a “for lease” sign perched on the roof top.
Fast forward 3 weeks and we have applied, been approved, signed on the dotted line and parted with a hefty wad of cash for the deposit. Full steam ahead, without the blink of an eye and we were opening our cafe/take away which we would decide to call Tuck Shop Take Away.
It took a bit of brain storming to come up with the name but we are in love with it now.
A “tuck shop” is (according to Wiki) “a small, food-selling retailer. A term that is interchangeable with the word canteen. The term ‘tuck’, meaning food, is slang and probably originates from such phrases as ‘to tuck into a meal’. It is also closely related to the Australian English word ‘tucker’, also meaning food. A tuck shop typically sells confectionery finger-food, such as sweets, crisps, soft drinks and so on’. This was it, this was us and so Tuck Shop Take Away was born.
Our concept – think great burgers and hand cut chips. Sweets with a twist. Milkshakes with house made syrups plus funky flavoured milks in the fridge. Soft serve in ever changing flavours or if you prefer you can sandwich that goodness up between two cookies for an ice cream sandwich (alternately skip the brain freeze and just have the cookie…). And coffee, well we wouldn’t exist in Melbourne without good coffee!
The concept is simple, make quality, distinguishable food that will not fade in with everything else. Stand out. Be a destination that people want to make a trip to. Be exciting. Love and put our all into everything we do. Be “determined, head strong, you can do anything you set your mind to if you follow your dreams” role models for our kids.
And there you have it.
We are currently in the thick of it, buried under applications, permits and more regulations to adhere to and compliances to meet than you can poke a stick at.
I’ll be honest, it isn’t the fun stage, it’s the frustrating tedious stage where there are mountains of tasks to be seen to but nothing to show for it as yet. But there will be soon, so feel free to jump on the ride (bumps and all) and follow us as I post weekly about our week that was in the making of Tuck Shop Take Away.