Orchard Café has become a staple in Lucas for the morning coffee, the Sunday bacon and egg roll, and the super friendly team you find behind the counter every day. But they do so much more for the community than making amazing coffee and toasties.
This year, Belinda is taking part in Dancing with our Stars to help raise much needed funds for the Ballarat Foundation, who run programs supporting people in need throughout Ballarat. We caught up with Belinda to find out a bit about Orchard Café and her upcoming participation in Dancing with our Stars:
What was the catalyst for yourself and LeRoy to open Orchard Café and why did you decide to open in Lucas?
The opportunity to take over Orchard Café in Lucas was too good to pass up and between us we decided it was time to share our years of experience with the Lucas community.
What is unique about Orchard Café?
We offer a unique selection of toasties and burritos using only the best local produce matched with great coffee using our own special blend.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do your research and make sure you get a few years of experience under your belt before you take the leap.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Business wise, we look to grow and have multiple venues, possibly even franchising Orchard Café. We never just settle, LeRoy and I, we are always setting goals and looking for the next opportunity. Personally, I would hope to still be enjoying my work/life/family balance, including holidays to my favourite holiday destination, Byron Bay, a few times a year. I also hope to still be surrounded by my family and friends, making amazing memories and enjoying life just like I do now.
What would we find you doing in your spare time?
I am currently training to compete in my first ever ICN Muscle and Model Body Building Championships, which involves weight training at my local gym, The Playground, five days a week, and eating a specific diet to reach my goals to get on stage in September. I am learning to dance for this years Ballarat Foundation Dancing With Our Stars.
I spend time with my three-year-old son, Lenny, when I am not in the cafe. He is growing so fast, so every day that I can spend with him I make the most of. And I also create social media content for incredible brands and my own Instagram page, @lifewith_lenny. I love getting creative with fashion and styling products around our home. It was a hobby that has now become a business, which I love.
What is your favorite thing to do in Ballarat?
I am a real foodie and enjoy a good wine! I absolutely love going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner dates. Ballarat really has come a long way over the past few years in terms of cafes and restaurants, which is great to see. I also love a good walk around our iconic Lake Wendouree on a sunny day.
What is something that may surprise people about you?
I was a dental nurse for 20 years!
What are you most looking forward to about competing in Dancing with Our Stars?
I am so excited for the actual gala night where we get to showcase our absolutely incredible dances. My dance for the night is the tango, which I am absolutely stoked to learn. Shelly from The Dance Studio Ballarat is a brilliant choreographer. The night really is going to be spectacular!
You can donate here at https://www.ballaratfoundation.org.au/my-fundraising/7/belinda-pilcher