Megan and her husband are the owners of Lagoon Yallingup, a Restaurant nestled on the shores of Yallingup. Their restaurant, bar & kiosk, bringing you a taste of the region’s food & wine within a relaxed beachside setting.
Leaving the city behind to live in the regions and start a business was in the back of Megan’s mind when they embarked on the parenthood journey. “We started to think about the life we wanted for our family and how we could achieve that with the careers we had chosen”. Megan’s husband Ben is a chef and was always on the lookout for opportunities in the Southwest as it is well known for the calibre of talent in the hospitality industry. The Southwest offered a better work/life balance for Megan and her family without sacrificing career progression and a more relaxed way of living, and a strong sense of community that we so desperately craved for our family. In 2018, a few days after giving birth to their youngest daughter Stella, they made the journey to Dunsborough as Ben was allowed to take on the Head Chef role for a large winery/restaurant in the Margaret River region. “This was our stepping stone into the South West.”
From there, they both spent time gathering experience within our chosen careers whilst juggling parenthood. “We were living in a beautiful region, we had made strong friendships and had what we thought was the dream, yet we still felt like something was missing”. In 2020, the Covid pandemic made them evaluate their lives and showed them how vulnerable we were in our jobs. This created the desire for Megan and Ben to create something of their own and gave them the nudge to leap of faith!
Given their combined experience in hospitality and business management, they knew that they wanted to start something that could merge the two! “And so our journey to finding Lagoon Yallingup began.” After scaling the region for business opportunities and having an opportunity fall through, “We knew this was the right path, and our desire grew”. When they came across Shaana Cafe for sale on a social media platform, they decided to view the business with nothing ventured, nothing gained. “We didn’t have high expectations and nearly cancelled the viewing, but are so grateful we didn’t, as once we saw the space, we knew this was the one!” Within two weeks, they had placed an offer on the business and signed the contract. And as they say, the rest is history!
Reflecting on their big move and transition to the region, Megan stated, “We don’t miss much of city life, to be honest.” Every time they make the trip to Perth, Megan stated they are always hurry to get home. “The only downside is being away from family and friends, but in saying that, we spend far more quality time together now, as they are always visiting the South West and staying with us”. Believing that what the family has gained in the regions is a strong sense of community and belonging, connections with like-minded people, and a less chaotic and slower pace of life and purpose. “We feel like we are finally ‘home’ here in the South West and love the life we are living and the future we are creating.”
Megan said that creating a business together with her husband, Megan said, “Has been the greatest blessing; however, it hasn’t come without its challenges.” Being a husband-and-wife team and in the infancy of their business, “It is always difficult to switch off work mode as there is always something that needs to be done and living together makes it hard to separate the two”. Also stating “There is never a day off or time off that comes without guilt.” With Megan admitting that finding that balance between work and family is a daily juggle as well as stating that it also comes with a lot of sacrifices. Being in the hospitality industry, where weekends are their main source of revenue, Megan stated that they rarely get time off together as a family.
However, in saying that, she also stated that the reward far outweighs the sacrifices and challenges, and in time they hope that it will offer them a much better work/life balance and open up more opportunities. “We can live out our dreams where we reap the rewards of our hard work as a family and get to choose the direction of the business without external influence or pressures.” We get to create something authentic for us where we are equally invested in succeeding and have the same motivation and goals, and are aligned in our vision. We can decide how hard we want to work when we want to work and be rewarded for the sacrifice. We can be self-sustainable and not have that vulnerability that comes with working for someone else. We are also showing our girls, who are growing up in this business, the foundations of hard work and creating a legacy for them.
Megan and Her husband Ben want to be known for their ‘scale to tail’ concept where we put seafood on the centre stage. Their vision for Lagoon is to offer a taste of the South West region focused on local seafood and native ingredients, complimented by boutique wineries and breweries in a relaxed coastal setting on the iconic Yallingup Beach. Megan and Her husband Ben want to be known for their ‘scale to tail’ concept where we put seafood on the centre stage. They utilise parts most commonly wasted to create a more sustainable offering. By separating themselves from the rest by being the only purely seafood restaurant in the South West, you can only find seafood on our menu. “We hope that customers have a relaxed dining experience, overlooking Yallingup Beach, where they enjoy exceptional local seafood which is complimented by wines which represent the smaller producers and family-owned wineries of the region.