He’s the founder of the Sydney eatery that was Instagram’s seventh most geo-tagged place in Australia last year, and we wanted to know more.
How does it feel to have one of the most Instagrammed locations in Australia?
I was so humbled to discover that The Grounds of Alexandria ranked so highly. Social media is the new TV, so to be acknowledged in this manner is amazing.
The Grounds is all about creating beauty, inspiration, joy and forging a connection in people’s lives. What better way to convey this than with a photo? I’m truly elated.
What inspired The Grounds?
The Grounds was born out of a desire to infuse everything we do with beauty.
At The Grounds we are committed to arousing all five senses.
My father was and still is my greatest inspiration. He exposed me to this notion of beauty, instilling profound values like the importance of family, learning, being a good person and how to become a man of value. My father taught me what it truly means to possess a beautiful life and I honour him each day by continuing his legacy.
You’ve owned 10 businesses before now, but people may not know that The Grounds came from nothing, after you’d lost everything in the GFC. When you think back, what gave you the courage to start again?
I believe courage is a choice. I choose to view the world and my place in it from a place of learning.
A challenge is merely an opportunity to learn and this is what propels me to engage and positively benefit from this greater comprehension.
It’s the big question everyone wants answered: how did Kevin Bacon recover from the infamous pig-napping from his home at The Grounds in 2013?
At the time, Kevin Bacon was only six months old, approximately 23 kilograms and had always been on a strict diet.
When Kevin was rescued and returned home to The Grounds, we were flabbergasted when we saw him.
Our healthy, svelte piggy was grossly overweight.
He gained about 20 kilograms in two weeks, was breathing heavily and even experienced difficulty walking.
We believe that the people who stole Kevin unfortunately didn’t know much about pigs, so kept feeding him. Thankfully, our fantastic team nursed Kevin back to health.
Why do you think the Grounds hit the right mark from day one?
After my father passed away and the bank repossessed everything, there was a period of great silence and stillness.
While this was one of the most soul destroying periods in my life, it enabled me to truly listen.
Upon reflection, it’s as though I ‘tapped into’ something that people didn’t recognise they needed or were longing for, until it came into being.
There can be incredibly long wait times at The Grounds, is this the downside of popularity?
When confronted with a challenge, such as long wait times, we immediately look for solutions.
We have been able to resolve the issue via the beautiful garden that provides a welcome reprieve for guests who might have to wait.
The markets are a fun, interactive inclusion created primarily to entertain.
What’s next for Ramzey Choker?
It is my mission to constantly push boundaries.
One thing that I’m adamant about is that I refuse to replicate any concept already in existence.
A new Grounds will open in Sydney’s Lower North Shore in the 2017/2018 financial year.
While it will adhere to the company ethos that is synonymous with The Grounds, it will be distinctive.
I’m also thrilled to announce our new CBD concept at The Galeries, a lifestyle and cultural destination scheduled to open very soon.
The Grounds of the City transports people on a journey into a specific time and place; this new venture will be transformed into the 1920s.
Still looking for another place to eat? Check out What and where to eat at Barangaroo?