Husband & wife team (and Fox In The Chamber operators) Remy and Bonnie moved to Woodend (from Melbourne) in 2014.
A passion for produce, community, social initiatives, as well as extensive experience within the Melbourne hospitality industry brought Remy and Bonnie together early in their careers. Remy having worked with Melbourne coffee heavyweights such as Code Black and Proud Mary Coffee Roasters, whilst Bonnie having completing her communications degree, managing venues and working as a freelancer in design studios.
Spearheading a not for profit team working with cafes to support the unemployed, Bonnie needed someone to host coffee training workshops for a Melbourne Social Enterprise. At the time Remy was a senior barista at Proud Mary Café, and upon being recommended, jumped at the offer. This was just the beginning, both Remy & Bonnie would continue to work within the local community regardless of location or occupation.
The couple agree that one of their proudest professional achievements was a neighbourhood garden project working with disadvantaged members of the community. This brought people together not only by harvesting their own produce, but also creating a space to open up about their experiences, learn and share stories.
Always knowing that they eventually wanted to settle somewhere more rural, Woodend continued to come up in conversation. The couple already had visions of opening their own café that grows it’s own quality, sustainable produce, and it took only a few visits to the region to decide that Woodend was the perfect place to do it!
The couple would continue to commute initially, but also began to work hours at The Chamber Art & Coffee House (the existing art gallery/café within the Council Chamber building). At the time the space was owned by Philip Holgate and for the first 6 months they would jump in to lend a hand during busy periods. This was an invaluable experience in getting to know the faces within the neighbourhood and cemented their love affair with The Chamber and surrounds.
When the café became available to purchase in early 2016 (just weeks before the birth of their first child) Remy and Bonnie jumped at the opportunity, and the chapter as Fox In The Chamber had begun!
Looking to the future, we can be sure that Bonnie and Remy's passion for environment, innovation and bringing people together will result in something truly unique for many years to come!
MEET THE TEAM
Hamish has literally been on deck since day 1.
A Woodend local since ’06 there are very few faces in town that Hamish doesn’t recognise by name (or coffee order, he’ll be half done making your daily brew before you step foot in the door!).
From humble beginnings running coffee orders and manning the register, Hamish has evolved into a masterful barista in his own right. He’s self admittedly hooked on the world of specialty coffee, between FITC and studying his Exercise Science Degree you’ll catch Hamish hitting up barista’s and roasters alike across any of Melbourne’s reputable coffee bars or roasters. Taking tips and soaking up knowledge from favourites like Patricia Coffee Brewers, Code Black Coffee Roasters or anybody that can do justice to Seven Seeds’ Single Origins.
So, you know if you see Hamish on shift that your morning brew is in good hands!
You might have noticed that the menu at Fox In The Chamber has levelled up over the last little while, we have the amazing Anna to thank for that!
No stranger to looking after the locals of Woodend and surrounds, you may have already met her while she worked her magic at The Newham General Store.
Since joining the team Anna has added her personal touches to our menu including her delectable soups. Make sure you grab one of these nourishing winter warmers on your next visit!
Outside of our kitchen Anna's favourite cuisines are anything Indian or Creole. She says that even spare time is spent reading cookbooks like novels and getting in the garden to look after her own produce.
A woman after our own heart.
Meet the lovely Luciana, one of the newest faces in the Fox family.
Hospitality & Tourism is in her blood, Luciana has travelled the world honing her craft and like us, she is super passionate about promoting sustainability within the industry.
During her travels Luciana has picked up some big ideas on permaculture and waste management. Nowadays she is happy to settle into our beautiful little neighbourhood and get to work putting as much of her knowledge into practice as possible.
There really couldn’t be a more perfect fit for the cafe or the community, we’re so lucky to have Luciana on our team!
Say hi to Declan!
We love the energy this guy brings to the space, always up for some banter, you'll likely see him running the floor and taking care of business on any given day.
No stranger to the hospitality game, Declan has spent time in Macedon Ranges institutions such as Colenso (the original Woodend version) and Annie Smithers' du Fermier.
He admits that the biggest buzz is seeing fresh produce come full circle, serving locals food that was brought into the Fox kitchen from their own back yards.
Outside of business hours photography is his jam! Declan has even sold several professional prints within the local community! You can check out his work @declanyardley or just swing on through the cafe for the friendliest of chats with this legend.
Want to join the FITC team? We're always looking to connect with locals who are passionate about hospitality.
Shoot us a message or come in for a chat!