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New pioneer #6 Kings Cross Distillery

11 Jul

Pardon the pun, but it’s a testing times for everyone including entrepreneurs and innovators everywhere. It’s refreshing to see people continue to create and launch exciting new ventures, even in these testing times.

On of these exciting ventures in my New Pioneers series is the Kings Cross Distillery in Sydney’s colourful Kings Cross.

I have been along for the ride when my cousins, Khare and Odelia first developed the concept – to create their own HANDCRAFTED gin in an atmospheric den in Kings Cross foodie mecca, LLankelly Place.

I was lucky enough to sample the gin one rainy night, amid the reimagining and redecoration of the space and the taste was nothing less than amazing.

Like a Kings Cross to Bondi tram with the heater on

I’m no connoisseur of spirits but the distinctive lemon and myrtle ‘notes’ came through like a Kings Cross tram with the heater on. Warm, subtle and delicate but with a contender’s punch.

The gin is hand crafted. To quote the guys, “Our pot-still affectionately called “Miss Pottsy”, sits in the heart of our distillery, inside a venue that was once home to covert businesses; an illegal 60s casino and a salacious club and private bookshop, with secret tunnels and spaces to hideaway from the eyes of the law.”

Opening in Spring

Slated for an opening in the spring of 2020, the venue is full of atmosphere with a number of spaces where patrons can sit and sip the amazing hand crafted gin.

The atmosphere of a speakeasy

The Kings Cross Distillery also offers spirit lockers who’s origins date back to WWII Japan – an exclusive club for spirit aficionados to store their bottle to enjoy with friends.

The space has a speakeasy feel, the term believed to have come from the patrons having to whisper (or, speak”easy”) when entering a hidden bar during the prohibition era in the US.

Kings Cross Distillery will serve up delicious bar snacks such as mezze and tapas plates – baked kibbeh, vine-wrapped sardines, and harissa carrots to enjoy with your drinks.

I love it when new pioneers invent, create and innovate.

I love it when new pioneers invent, create and innovate.

Visit the website to purchase a collectible first batch Australian Classic Dry Gin ​modelled off a 1937 recipe or to keep up with other products, news and launch dates.

This is a happening you won’t want to miss.

Me and Max visit the distillery with Khare working the magic

Manglement v’s Management

22 Sep



Leadership and Management have never been more important in this era of disruption that some are calling the 4th Industrial revolution where:

  • Traditional business models are breaking down and being replaced by big tech (the so called FAANGS of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google)  – add to that the gig guys = UBER et al.
  • Traditional politics and government seems to be in a freefall with demagogues and political de-stabilizers running amok.
  • Traditional Work and employment being replaced by AI, robotics and software.
  • Intergenerational skepticism regarding the threat to the environment and climate change

This can lead to manglement (see above illustration of the old fashioned mangle … used to wring clothes out manually.)

Manglement leads to problems in organisations and businesses such as:

  • Lack of communication = people unsure of their role or status or even what they need to accomplish
  • Loss of motivation from former high performers who feel misunderstood and sidelined
  • Heightened loss of a positive culture
  • ‘Office’ gossip and backbiting

Manglement breaks down teams, loses productivity and often leads to high performers taking their talents elsewhere.

Manglement doesn’t care. Manglers don’t have the emotional intelligence to understand or even care. They see people as just numbers. They are unaware of the impact that this type of non management has on the people and ultimately the organisation.

Leaders and managers know their people and the value they bring and they communicate, consult and recognise.

Sometimes they even reward.

Energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurship … new pioneers 2018

31 Dec

I can’t help it. I admire entrepreneurs and pioneers in small business. People with energy and enthusiasm who take an idea and make it work. I call them the new pioneers. More often than not the ideas don’t always work.

Pioneers can face resistance and moments of failure. And it hurts. But we don’t learn from success.


Matt Bennett and Rupert Noffs from The Lucky Bee at Frankie’s Rooftop. Who would have thought that a New York restaurant would land in Woy Woy on the central coast of NSW. Always scenically magnificent but not always classy (no offence!) – this dynamic duo has turned a pub into a destination for foodies. The boys have so much energy and  enthusiasm … you could bottle it. There’s an idea!!!

New pioneer #2 BREW HA HA 

Denis & Mirjana Dordevic from Brew Ha Ha Coffee Roasters in Lilyfield, Sydney also rank as pioneers and entrepreneurs with flare and enthusiasm + great coffee and food. I’ve watched this business grow with the energy and love the owners and staff put into it. They regularly change their offerings to keep things fresh. 

New pioneer #3 JACK RABBIT SLIMS

Andrea and his team from Jack Rabbit Slims Barbershop in Kings Cross have energy in spades. I remember when Andrea started out in a little concrete box next door to the Piccolo Bar. Just one chair and a toolbox but Andrea can cut hair. He’s not your ‘grab the clippers and mow the lawn type’ barber. He understand the nuances of hair and the directions it can take. I know because I have a lot of it and it grows fast in weird directions. Andrea takes a lot of care and it shows. It’s sometimes hard to get a booking.


I’m biased here. I do some teaching and instructional design for Greenwich and I have to say that in my experience in this field and with numerous colleges and RTO’s, this place stands out in a crowded space. The management and staff have built the machine but the students have brought the energy. They come from all parts of the world … from Mongolia to Brazil, Italy to Macedonia, Colombia to Azerbaijan, the US and Ireland. Often they work multiple jobs as well as study but they are amazing. The college services are fine tuned and the management skilled listeners and entrepreneurs.

Here’s to all the new pioneers of 2018. Doing things differently with enthusiasm and love.

It shows.