I was so ridiculously excited when I checked out the guest list for our first trip of the season – Alyson Ramsay typed in bold, 28 years old, shortboard. Yes!! A girl!! Turns out not only is Aly a wave machine magnet, she`s also a killer chef and stepped into the kitchen a few times to punch out some epic fishcakes and pancakes alike. She co-owns an eatery on the Sunshine Coast, with her partner, Andoni. Here`s a few shots from her recent trip on the Liquid Mystique and insight into life as a surfing-business owner-chef-rad-lady…
What`s your local surf break like and do you get to surf much? I live on the Sunshine Coast – Sunrise Beach to be precise. There I have a variety of breaks within a 20km radius. If there`s swell and the SE`sters are blowing then I`ll head for the points surrounding Noosa. First Point all the way to Granite Bay provide righthanders aplenty. If the points are too crowded, which is usually the case, I head downtown via Hastings Street to check the rock walls and rivermouth. Lefts and rights are very common. And if the sand`s right the rockwall will produce a crazy right-hand wall.
If the SE`sters aren`t too strong then the beaches all up and down the coast are my favourite. Lefts and rights from A-Bay to Coolum and beyond. 3 foot and glassy A-frames on the beach are my favourite!! Peregian also offers good banks with a permanent Coffee rock, sand covered bottom. Coolum is next, it has a big headland that breaks anywhere over 6-8ft. Coolum beachies are also a bit more protected from SE (winds) so can often be busy and the only pick. Over the headland there are The Bays!!! They provide a great alternative to the beaches and can get big and fun and wedgy.
North up to D.I (Double Island Point) is a great option when the points are too crowded and the swell`s up…but you`ll need a 4X4..
Lots of options for you then! So when we come to visit your joint, what`s the yummiest pizza you`d knock up for us?? My man and I own a small restaurant/cafe called Bulli. We do all day brekkies, aim to create beautiful coffee, and of course pizzas. Thin crust and simple! The most popular are the Vego/Marcoola/PPPP – the PPPP is probably our best: Prawns / Prosciutto / Pesto / Potato. But if you`re lucky and we like you we might send out a starter on the house – consisting of pear, goats curd, prosciutto, caramelised onion and rocket – BOOOOOM that`s the BOMB pizza 🙂
YUM!! What is the best part about being your own boss? The best part of owning our own business is controlling a high standard of service and hospitality. We work the business ourselves so we are consistently overseeing and aiming to keep customers happy and fulfilled by maintaining the consistency of our product. Andoni, my partner, and I work very well together and tend to bounce off and support each other through all aspects of the business, from paperwork to a cream reduction to remembering customers names. We make a real point of welcoming and greeting customers by name and we think it`s key to small business.
And the challenges? The hardest parts are simple – it`s hard work and long hours are involved. Also we can`t really take a heap of time off. Like go to Spain tomorrow for 6 months (Andoni is Spanish). But then again who doesn`t work hard these days and who can`t up and leave at the drop of a hat…I guess what I`m distinguishing between is now I`m an adult with responsibilities.
Got a recipe for us?? Come visit me in Marcoola and I`ll show you!!
Favourite surf spot? *&^%^&*…..fo shuree!! (Sorry Aly – we can`t give this one away!)
Who or what inspires you? The idea of improving myself, my surfing and pursuing a lifetime of happiness.
What`s one piece of advice you`ve been given that resonated with you? I`ll give you two:
- K.I.S = keep it simple
- No use being the richest person in the cemetery.
Top ten surf travel items:
phone with international roaming – and scrabble
a good book
and of course another surfboard
….(I added 1) chocolate and lollies
Alyson Ramsay is the co-owner of Bulli cafe/restaurant in Marcoola, Sunshine Coast. If the reviews on UrbanSpoon are anything to go by, you had best check out the joint if you`re in the area! Aly – it was such a pleasure having you on the boat!
*Photographs taken by Jade Rogers, Liquid Mystique Surfari Boat, Maldives. March 2012.