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Local Shopkeeper – Blake Read From Beach Burrito Co.

By Dan Hutton on November 13, 2012 in

Photo: Grant Brooks

Name | Blake Read

Shop | Beach Burrito Co.

Address | Bondi, Coogee, Cronulla, Newtown and Jindabyne

Web | www.beachburritocompany.com

Tell us about Beach Burrito Co.?

Beach Burrito Co. is the vision of my younger years; it’s a place where I can be surrounded by all the things I’m into: surf, skate and snow being my major influences and more recently art and music. It’s a pretense-free, inexpensive and healthy food option that has adapted itself to its local surroundings with welcoming staff to keep things casual and fun – this is the driving force of the company.

How long have you had the business?

Bondi first opened on January 3, 2007, so we are about 5½ years old. We now have five stores: Bondi, Coogee, Cronulla, Newtown and Jindabyne.

What made you decide to open it?

I started dishing in restaurants when I moved to Breckenridge, Colorado as a 20 year-old. Restaurants have always been my major employer over the years as I could snowboard or surf through the days and work at night. I slowly moved my way through all the ranks into front of house management, ending up in California. I learnt the cuisine through all the Mexicans that run the kitchens and on my frequent trips home saw the hole in the market. I spent in total about three years fully researching the concept and putting together a business plan to open the Bondi store and it took me about four weeks to lose every cent I had – a sharp learning curve followed.

What would you do if you sold up?

I often ask myself this and often get asked this. My standard response is go surfing but in reality I’ll probably start another business, which I’ve actually already started on. However, a big surf trip is in order and so is spending some time with my friends and family.

What is the biggest challenge facing Beach Burrito Co.?

The are a lot of uncontrollable variables that are constantly coming at us so it’s hard to put it down to one or even a few. I am concerned about the constantly increasing labour costs versus productivity, the negative press surrounding licensed venues and the building at Bondi is literally falling to pieces, which we cannot keep up with.

How did you come up with the name?

I used to work in a restaurant called ‘Breckenridge Burrito Company’ and it just sort of felt right.

What’s the best thing about owning Beach Burrito Co.?

Wearing hoodies to work, Thrasher hats, all things surf, being by the beach, the snow store in Jindy, being my own boss, the frozen margarita machine, local crew, spending days with my kids, skateboards, cool companies…

Does anything about Beach Burrito Co. piss you off?

My phone; it’s amazing how one little device can create so many problems, so much stress and cost me so much money. Damn thing never tells me good stuff.

What’s your medium- to long-term plan for the business?

I plan to open more stores interstate and overseas with an ultimate goal of selling up.

Can Beast readers get a discount?

Tacos ‘n’ Beer – tenner.