Geelong West Social Club isn’t your average caffeine clubhouse. Its ultra-hip fit out is the kind that attracts savvy trend hunters, but entry is open to anyone who appreciates an excellent cup of coffee. And that’s the way it should be. Ross and Mia’s Geelong West setup is free from the intimidation of the café culture set, and in an industry well known for hair-tearing anxiety they’ve mastered the art of keeping it cool, man.
Ross McDonald: We try to keep our coffee simple, but good. We make it the way you like it! Nothing over the top and nothing too fancy, just damn good coffee! We do bagels and sweets – we get our bagels in fresh every day and we put the yummy fillings in. We rotate the flavours but our signature Rueben is here to stay.
Running your own hospitality business never stops! Even on a day off you’re trying to think of ways to improve. It is challenging at times and can be stressful but it is so much more rewarding than working for the ‘man’. We have learnt – or maybe we already knew – to just roll with it, go along for the ride, stay cool man. Chill out when you can.
If there is ever a quiet moment throughout the day, instead of stressing out, we have learnt to enjoy the quietness and relax! Plus spending that extra five minutes cleaning at the end of the day makes opening so much easier (says the boss…I mean wife).
We don’t have many staff. We work as much as we can, and the staff we do have are basically Mia’s brother, sister and cousin, one of our best friends and an AFL player. A funny little bunch!
People in Geelong are quickly clueing on to what’s good. You don’t have to have a menu that’s three pages long. Simple, specialty items make running a business ten times easier. Geetriot’s different from Melbourne because it’s slow, relaxed and stress-free. It’s a big place with a small town feel.
Mia owns and operates a jewellery label with her Mum so any chance she gets, she is in the workshop tinkering away. We have a little kid and a bunch of pets so we really like having some normal family time when we get the opportunity!
There are still a few things we want to do with the interior. We opened the doors and got whisked up in the chaos of opening a café but now that we have our grasp on it, we want to finish off the little special touches. We are also in the process of applying for our liquor licence. Stay tuned for some cheeky Friday knock offs and perhaps a Club Espresso Martini.
THE (LOCAL) TOPS
Nothing beats my home town of Point Lonsdale (orrrrrrrr if you want to stretch your legs a little more than that, Vietnam fo sho).
Beers at Little Creatures (Geelong). They also have a cool little monthly market for the shoppers.
Best road trip
Over to Radelaide is always a goodie, a shorter trip but just enough time in the car to get a little bat crazy. Driving through the pretty vineyards (and stopping at them for a cheeky one) is a must.
Dream road trip
All around Australia. Around the coast, through the middle, zig zag all over the shop!
Winter and Summer trading hours:
Monday to Friday – 7am-4pm
Saturday – 7:30am-2pm
Sunday – Closed, but keep an eye out for a quiet night time wine….
Geelong West Social Club
1B Yuille Street, Geelong West, Victoria
While you’re at it check out Mia’s jewellery line Ernest & Joe: