In this episode I interview Rebecca Ettridge, the owner of Wombat Café & Store, the Mornington Peninsula’s first 100% vegan café in Victoria, Australia, founded in 2016.
Wombat regularly raises and donates substantial amounts of money to Australian animal sanctuaries along with ongoing monthly payments to #paytherent, a grassroots Indigenous organization.
The café, which has expanded to a team of 16 employees, also funds the running costs of its own farm sanctuary, Plumfield Farm, which currently houses 92 residents.
Rebecca has managed all this by running the café remotely (she lives 3 hours away) since the business was only 18 months old, despite being told this couldn’t be done – and without any online sales.
In this interview Rebecca discusses:
• Why she decided to open a vegan café in a non-metropolitan area
• How she’s managed to retain staff in an industry that typically sees a high turnover
• How she’s able to run the business remotely so she can focus on working in her animal sanctuary
• The impact of Covid on the business
• Why she decided not to offer online sales or even have a website for the business
• Her use of the word ‘vegan’ in the café’s branding and marketing and how this changed over the years
• And more
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Katrina Fox is an award-winning vegan journalist, publisher, speaker, PR consultant and media trainer who teaches vegan business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers how to get free publicity by sharing their stories. Katrina was a regular contributor to Forbes for a year, writing about vegan and plant-based business. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Vegan Business Media, the host of Vegan Business Talk podcast, and the author of Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business. Katrina is also the creator of Vegans in the Limelight: Online PR course for Vegan Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. For more information and to hire Katrina, email her at katrina [at] veganbusinessmedia [dotcom]