A collaborator at heart
Georgina Inwood credits the evolution of her business, Table Under a Tree, to her ability to “take stock while still running at a million miles an hour”.
That’s no easy feat, especially for someone who comes home with more work whenever she attends a workshop or event – despite admonishments from her 13-year-old daughter.
“I can’t help myself,” she laughs. “I’m always open to new opportunities.”
Table Under a Tree started in 2017, when Georgina and her partner bought a farm at Rosebank, farewelled their city life, and headed to the beautiful Northern Rivers. Georgina had spent 12 months working on a business plan to provide tourists with pods packed full of delicious local produce.
The business was a runaway success and won awards. Georgina soon added farm tours to their offerings, and when COVID-19 hit the region, she started delivering food boxes to local residents.
“It was about connecting people with growers and extraordinary food. There is so much on offer here but even locals don’t know about it,” she says. “At that time, I don’t think I’d ever worked so physically hard.”
After the February flood, Georgina met with her accountant to discuss the future of Table Under a Tree.
“The delivery service was going really well after two years and we looked at the trends and the figures,” she says. “We could have kept going on the path we were on – it was a strong business model. The logical option was to scale up. It would have involved staff, additional delivery vehicles, and quite a hefty chunk of capital.
“But it just didn’t feel right to me in the face of everything that had happened in our community. Then flood two happened and my mind was made up.”
Georgina says there are now two sides to Table Under a Tree. One part of the business is providing advice, strategic solutions, planning services, workshops and support to other local businesses, farmers and growers, leveraging her background in politics, communications, consultation and management.
On the other hand, she’s running a goat meat farm on their eight-acre property.
“There have been so many moments when I think, ‘What am I doing?’. Today, for example, I’m organising the programming for our podcast, Business Bites, getting the guests lined up, planning recordings or re-recordings. The next minute I’m helping our goats have their babies and I’m covered in afterbirth. It’s crazy.”
A self-confessed “Queen of Planning”, Georgina has big goals, three-year plans, yearly reviews and quarterly check-ins. But she’s savvy enough to remain flexible and adaptable.
“Success to me is seeing the spark in people’s eyes again,” Georgina says. “I’m working with the Lismore Produce Market to bring a Christmas Market into the CBD in December – that will be something amazing for our community.
“We’re also looking into developing a goat meat cooperative, providing an avenue for people with similarly small farms, and similar ethics and care, to work with us. That’s in an exploratory phase now, but there’s definitely a market for goat meat. We sell out every time we do a round.”
Overall, Georgina is striving to make her business authentic and powerful.
She’s also working hard to build connections and encourage collaborations within the local community, focusing on recovery and a sustainable future that will help the Northern Rivers thrive.
“At the very start of my journey I got involved with Northern Rivers Food, and I’m so glad I did – it’s been an endless source of support,” she says.
“I am driven by having the most impact I can, working ethically, and working collaboratively. Even though my business has changed so much over the years, my end goal hasn’t. I still want to build connections with people, food and place.”