Meet Shelby

Meet Shelby, the Team Leader at Mr. Good Guy Devonport. Shelby’s career story traces back to her childhood, where she was inspired by a waitress at a local restaurant whose warmth and passion left a lasting impression. 13 years ago, she began her journey in the hospitality industry as a kitchen hand in a bakery in North West Tasmania, igniting her passion for food and service.

Let’s dive into the story behind Shelby’s passion and love for hospo!

Q: How long have you been in the industry for? Tell us about your career background, any highlights or countries you have worked prior to Mr. Good Guy.

S: I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over 13 years now, and it’s been quite the journey. I started my career as a kitchen hand in a local bakery in North West Tasmania, gradually working my way up to the front of house, where I honed my skills in serving and crafting the perfect cup of coffee for our regulars.

After gaining valuable experience at various local businesses in Devonport and Latrobe, I decided to broaden my horizons and embark on an adventure overseas. I found myself working in a quaint pub in a charming village 40 minutes from London. It was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to immerse myself in a different culture and learn new techniques and approaches to hospitality.

Upon returning home, I continued to pursue my passion for hospitality, transitioning to roles as a waitress and eventually finding my niche as a skilled barista at McCafe. I further refined my craft at unique coffee shops like The Trend Shed in Port Sorrel and Hey Buddy in Ulverstone, where I developed a deep appreciation for quality coffee and customer service.

Seeking to expand my knowledge and advance my career, I found my way to Mr. Good Guy, where I’ve been fortunate to receive incredible support and opportunities for growth. It’s been an enriching experience, and I’m excited to continue my journey in this dynamic and welcoming environment.

Q: When you were younger, who inspired you to pursue a career in food and beverage and why?

S: When I was younger, a memorable moment that inspired me to pursue a career in food and beverage occurred during a family dinner at a restaurant I had never visited before. The waitress who served us left a lasting impression on me with her genuine warmth, attentiveness, and passion for her work. In that moment, I was struck by the power of hospitality to make people feel truly special, and I knew I wanted to evoke that same feeling in others. And yes, I found myself thinking, ‘I want to be that person!’

Two years later, in Year 9, I had the opportunity to attend a catering class at my high school. Under the guidance of a supportive and encouraging teacher, I delved into the world of cooking, coffee-making, and front-of-house service. Each lesson deepened my passion for food and beverage as I discovered the artistry and joy inherent in hospitality.

Reflecting on those experiences, I realise how wonderfully they have shaped my career path and aspirations. Today, as I pursue opportunities in the food and beverage industry, I strive to embody the same joy, passion, and dedication that inspired me all those years ago. I am grateful for the mentors (especially my first catering class teacher in high school) and experiences that have fuelled my journey and continue to inspire me each day.

Q: What was your favourite thing to drink when you were younger? Is there a drink or food that is dear to you?

S: Gathered with loved ones, savouring hearty servings of roasted meats brings a sense of indulgence, surrounded by a spread of delicious dishes. These cherished family roast nights, followed by delectable desserts, hold a special place in my heart. I can’t wait for our next gathering to relish these moments together.

Q: The drinks list at Mr. Good Guy has a lot of Asian influences, what is your favourite tipple on the drinks list and what meal would you enjoy with it?

S: I like our signature Singapore Sling from the cocktail menu. The Singapore Sling, widely regarded as Singapore’s national drink, originated in 1915 by Raffles bartender Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon. Our rendition includes cherry brandy and triple Sec added to the gin-based cocktail. I’d pair it with our delightful and refreshing Rice Paper Rolls, plus a serving of Pad Thai.

Q: What is your favourite fish on the Mr Good Guy menu and why?

S: I’m particularly fond of the Nyonya Chicken and Potato Curry. It’s a hearty and flavoursome dish that never fails to satisfy. I appreciate the tenderness of the chicken, which effortlessly falls off the bone, and the rich blend of spices that infuse every bite with delicious flavour. It’s a must-try dish the next time you visit us!

Q: When you are off work and looking for a great feed, what are your favourite foodie/drink spots in Devonport? Where do you hang out?

S: I love street foods, so one of my favourite spots in Devonport is the Providore Market, held every second Friday in the heart of the city. This vibrant market showcases the best of the North-West region, featuring a diverse array of fresh and value-added products sourced from Tasmania. With numerous food and drink vans, there’s always something new to try. Personally, I highly recommend the stir-fry noodles and dumplings from the Dumpling Den food truck.

Another must-visit is T for Toast’s Night Owl coffee and Espresso Martini bar. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a quality coffee or indulge in a delicious Espresso Martini.

Q: Where would you love to travel next to try the food?

S: I have a deep feeling for Italy and am eager to return, not only to share my beloved foodie spots with my husband but also to immerse myself once again in the culinary delights that enchanted me during previous visits. Additionally, I’m fascinated by the diverse culinary landscapes of Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, and El Salvador, and I’m eager to explore the rich gastronomic traditions of these countries. Moreover, the vibrant food scene of New Orleans, USA, has always piqued my interest, and I’m excited about the prospect of sampling its unique flavours firsthand. The world is full of culinary wonders, and I can’t wait to get started on these cultural and culinary adventures.