Fijian hospitality: New face behind Bowen bed and breakfast
GROWING up in Fiji, Margaret Fox was surrounded by family who shared generously with the community and would not think twice about welcoming others in for a meal.
This ingrained understanding of hospitality, combined with her experience working in the industry, has led her to take on her own venture as the new manager of a Bowen bed and breakfast.
Previously known as Bowen B&B - Gallery on the Hill, the business has been renamed Margs Bed and Breakfast Bowen with Mrs Fox now at the helm.
Mrs Fox is looking forward to welcoming guests and creating a space that makes them feel at home.
She grew up with four generations under one roof in Fiji and watched as her family constantly welcomed people to eat at their table.
Mrs Fox now extends this hospitality in her own life through acts of kindness such as making jam and chutney to share with others.
"We're very caring, kind and sharing people," she said.
"If we had plenty of food, we shared it.
"If dad and us went fishing and we had lots of fish, we would share it with others."
A very social person, Mrs Fox is looking forward to meeting people from around Australia and the world and giving them a warm welcome.
"I love meeting people and enjoy having people around and having a yak," she said.
"We want you to treat this place like it's your home too and give a family lifestyle but away from home."
Up until about three years ago Mrs Fox worked at Bolton Clarke Cunningham Villas but she also has experience in the hospitality industry in Fiji working on the front desk, as a receptionist and waitress.
This is where she met husband Trevor and the pair has now been married for 37 years.
They have travelled around Australia and previously lived in Portland, Victoria, before making the move to Bowen.
For the past few years they thought it might be nice to operate their own hospitality venture.
Mrs Fox is friends with the previous operator and current owner of the building, so she took the leap when the opportunity arose to manage the business.
Mrs Fox said with many people leading hectic lives it was important to have time to connect.
"It's a busy world and this is time to focus on family," she said.
The plans to take on the bed and breakfast were already in motion before coronavirus hit its stride, but Mrs Fox expected the business to build momentum as time goes on.
There are currently three rooms available for visitors and a fresh coat of paint has been applied to the walls.
Nestled on top of the hill next to the water tower, the rooms have views out over Bowen and the ocean.
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