Gemma and Nick Watts moved to Torquay from the UK and bought King of the Castle cafe in Geelong this year. The pair are committed to upholding the cafe's strong tradition of supporting the local community through various social impact initiatives. On Sunday November 15 they and their staff will be running on a treadmill to raise funds for Barwon Health through the annual event Run 4 Geelong.
Uprooting your family's life and moving overseas is no mean feat. Throw in the purchase of a business and a global pandemic all at the same time and you have an extremely high pressure situation! These challenges were exactly what husband and wife team Nick and Gemma Watts faced this year and we couldn’t be more in awe of how they’ve managed not only to deal with, but also flourish despite these.
Nick and Gem hail from England and earlier this year made a sea change to Torquay on the surf coast. They were on the lookout for a hospitality business to purchase; Nick is a chef, and Gemma has accounting experience. They took over the helm at longstanding Padre Coffee partner King of the Castle on Pakington Street in Geelong in March.
It was a difficult start with the challenges of trading restrictions, and the pair decided to close the cafe temporarily for a couple of months. They made the most of this situation and took the time to make some already planned renovations, including extending the kitchen and - most noticeably for their customers - commissioning a brand new mural for the expansive wall along the vast entry to the cafe.
Nick and Gem are also carrying on a strong tradition of King of the Castle actively supporting various social impact initiatives. The cafe serves as a collection point for much needed grocery items for the local Christ Church Community meals program. This program is run by volunteers and relies on generous donations from the local community to be able to offer their free breakfasts every day of the year to those in need.
The King of the Castle crew (L-R): Tim, Jimmy, Jacob, Zara, Gemma, Gemma and Nick's daughter Milly, Luke, Nick and Tristan.
The team is also supporting the annual Run 4 Geelong fundraiser, which supports Geelong’s public healthcare service, Barwon Health. Due to social distancing requirements, the event can’t be held as usual, and participants will be able to run their chosen distance (10km, 6km or 1km) in their local area and fundraise via everydayhero. Gem, Nick and their team have partnered with local gym, Jett’s Geelong West, which is loaning King of the Castle a treadmill for the day (Sunday 15 November). The team will take it in turns to run continuously for 6 hours throughout service on the day!
They’ve chosen to specifically support mental health services across Barwon Health. We’re donating a tin of coffee towards the fundraiser so the team can donate $1 from every coffee sold on the day. Now that restrictions are lifted, it’s the perfect opportunity to get down to Geelong for a coffee!
If you can't get down to the cafe, you can also donate directly here.
King of the Castle Cafe
24 Pakington St
M-Sa 6.30am - 3pm
Su 7.30am - 2pm
Run 4 Geelong