Living and loving where you work
Many are quick to warn against blurring the lines between one’s private and professional life by working where you live. Perhaps they prefer to avoid running into their co-workers after hours, or maybe they’re just not fond of the neighbourhood they work in. But when co-workers are family, and the neighbourhood you work in is reminiscent of the communities of yesteryear - where children rode their bikes in quiet leafy streets and dropping by a neighbour’s place for a cup of coffee required no invitation - it’s not all that bad. In fact, for these business owners, working just a stone’s throw from home has transformed the 9-to-5 schlep into a delightful balance of work and home life.
Rashi & Divyang Dhagat
For Rashi and Divyang Dhagat, the owners of Little Growling Café at The Grove, a Frasers Property community in Tarneit, VIC, closing the gap between work and home has created a new closeness in their relationship. Just a few weeks after opening the café in late 2018, the couple quickly realised that they couldn’t sustain their daily three-hour commute from their rental property in Epping. They immediately began searching for a property close by and within a few weeks, they were Tarneit locals.
“It’s like a dream, we’re just two minutes’ drive away,” says Divyang. “I can go back home for breakfast or lunch whenever I want to. It’s like getting my life back.” The move also afforded the couple enough energy to extend their trade to seven days a week. “The café was previously closed on Mondays but because we are so close, we have the energy to work harder and are able to keep it open longer.”>
And while some couples shudder at the thought of turning their life partner into their business partner, Rashi and Divyang love being able to spend more time together. “Normally if you work on weekends or evenings then you have different hours to your partner, but here we’re together all day,” says Divyang. “We’re a team.”
Ryan & Kelly Mauricio
There are few people who know WA’s idyllic Port Coogee better than Ryan Mauricio. After spending several years with his parents in their Port Coogee home, Ryan decided to purchase not one, but two properties within the development, and together with wife Kelly recently opened CRU Health and Juice Bar. “Having lived here for a few years, I was able to notice the need for something a little bit different,” says Ryan. “I felt it was important to get in early so that as the area grows, the business can grow with it.”
As first-time business owners, Ryan and Kelly are grateful for the outpouring of community support they have received in their first days of trade. “People love to support locals. We had lots of people come in and say congratulations when we opened,” says Ryan. “We had lots of neighbours from our street show up. They feel more like friends and family than neighbours.”
It’s still early days for CRU, but Ryan and Kelly are looking forward to the future. “Kelly and I would love to have kids someday, so this is our family home,” says Ryan. “Once we have kids it’ll be great because we can just walk to the beach and the shops. And having the juice bar around the corner is so easy. We don’t even have to jump in the car really, we can just walk down or even hop on the bike. I’ve seen a lot of growth in the community and there’s a lot more to go, so I can’t wait to see how it will look in 10 years’ time.”