CEO of the Year Awards 2022

APAC / CEO of the Year Awards 2022 13 , Mar22358 The small boutique Lime & Coconut Cafe resides in an early 1800s building in the historic town of Windsor and prides itself on specialising in dietary-specific meals. Whether you are a coeliac, dairy intolerant, or allergic to nuts, Lime & Coconut has something for you to enjoy. Its staff are knowledgeable and trained, and value the diligence it takes to keep people safe fromharmwhen dining out for ameal. Lime & Coconut’s CEO, Kirsty Camilleri is an ambitious and passionate serial entrepreneur who has achieved extraordinary success for her leadership and resilience within the APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2022 – so we got in touchwith her to find out how she has got to where she is today. Kirsty Camilleri has built her career from the ground up, working her way through businesses, from a receptionist to an NSW sales manager, and everything in between. But there is nothing quite like managing her little cafe. She tells us, “Managing this little cafe is by far my most honourable job. To be able to make people happy and comfortable is something I have always tried to do in every job. You must build trust and be trustworthy to run a successful business.” Lime & Coconut welcomes guests who inevitably leave as friends, having delighted in the best coffee in town and clean, delicious food that is locally sourced and caters for all dietary requirements. The cafe’s refreshing beverages compliment each meal, and they are all served within a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Its long-standing building still has much of its original charm, enhanced with some old-school pickings, a lick of paint, and a window full of greenery. Its customers certainly praise it, shown through a 4.9 out of 5-star rating on the cafe’s Facebook page. One customer describes its team as “the best”, with the food being “second to none”, while another says that the café serves “the best gluten-free breaky roll ever”. A third customer appreciates the way “the team really get to know to you”. However, as successful and popular as Lime & Coconut is, that isn’t to say that it hasn’t faced its challenges. Kirsty tells us, “It’s hard to have a successful business in the hospitality industry as most young people don’t see a career in it. And I do think the natural disasters have really been a challenge in the last three years. The Hawkesbury region, where we are, has been through four floods, bushfires, two covid lockdowns. Personally, my head chef has been off for over two months with open heart surgery at the age of 29, and I have had serious personal loss in the last 12 months. There have been many challenges, but this has allowed us to streamline the way we work. As long as we stay grateful for what we have, we’ll be ok” Indeed, things haven’t been easy for Kirsty and Lime & Coconut – or for the hospitality industry, which is suffering, having been massively impacted by the covid lockdowns, as well as the lack of qualified staff and individuals with motivation to work in the industry due to it being so customer-focused. Kirsty observes, “Younger people seem to struggle these days to hold a conversation and take on board advice without taking office. With the cost of wages and goods constantly increasing, it is becoming harder and harder to make a profit.” Undeniably, Kirsty shows true resilience, not letting any challenge stand in her way. She says, “No matter how hard business is, you have to try. You will make mistakes but they are only lessons to help you on your path. Just be true to yourself and remember why you do what you do.” Kirsty continues to lead with strength and train her staff, while always looking for new and innovative ideas to stay ahead of competitors. She believes that teamwork is key when undertaking new projects, and she is always working with the local community to make sure the outcome is exactly what is needed. And Lime & Coconut is not her only business venture, being the owner of two other businesses, Magick Numbers Bookkeeping which provides bookkeeping services to SMEs, and Hawkesbury Business Hub, a shared workspace in the heart of Windsor. Kirsty has taken a small step back from the cafe to work on these other businesses, but at the same time, she wants to grow the cafe and continues to be thankful for the support of the community. Company: Lime & Coconut Cafe Contact: Kirsty Camilleri Email: kirsty@ Website: Casual Dining CEO of the Year (Australia): Kirsty Camilleri & Business Leader Resilience Excellence Award 2022 Lime & Coconut Cafe