Meet the beautiful, energetic and super-friendly Georgie Castle the creative mind behind Citizen Cacao. When we first met Georgie it wasn’t just her love and enthusiasm for creating delicious cacao treats that excited us, it was her dedication and passion for creating a unique product that would make you smile, feel good and teach you the importance of understanding what we put into our bodies. We are so thrilled to welcome Georgie to the Twosixmag Community, today she chats about her journey, the concept behind her business and her views on our growing local industry.
You’ve had such a fascinating life!… Can you tell us about your time in New York?
I spent the best part of a decade in New York – I call it home.. STILL! I was only supposed to be there for a year.. and then… the city gripped me and I had to stay. I was a nanny, I studied a Fashion Degree at Parsons , I worked for an editing company, I studied again – this time with a major in Food Studies, I ran my own baking company making miniature sweet tarts and selling them in my OTHER favourite place ; Martha’s Vineyard… and then I found raw chocolate. and Brooklyn 🙂 I spent three years working, hanging tough and living in Williamsburg – some of the best times of my life.
What did you learn about ‘life’ from your time abroad?
I learned how to be brave and reach out and connect with people. How to observe AND be part of a new culture. the ability to constantly create and re-create who I was and who I wanted to be. I learned that even in a mad loud city there is peace and there is a village. In my case it was literally a village ( I spent a huge amount of time living working and studying in the West Village) BUT in a greater sense it was possible to find your people and your place and take comfort in that despite the cacophony of energy swirling around you.
Can you tell us about your delicious local business Citizen Cacao, How was the idea created? What is the philosophy behind the brand?
Citizen is my greatest happy accident! When I left NY I took with me a rampant addiction for the Raw Chocolate I had eaten every day for three years.. so I began to make it for myself.. in NZ and here in Melbourne when I arrived. As legend has it I had a series of random conversations with some of Melbourne’s best scallywag chefs and baristas.. and all of a sudden I had a company. With no name.
The name came about as I thought about my experiences in places other than my homeland and how in effect I had become a citizen of the world. Which speaks in turn to my philosophy as a person and as Citizen Cacao -’Everyone is welcome’.
During our chat, you talked about always having a natural gift when it came to cooking, what is it about preparing food that has always fascinated and delighted you?
My earliest memories of food are trawling the supermarket with my Mom for veggies and whatnot and then creating platters of food for the constant visitors at our home. I fell in love with tastes colors and textures and realized the beauty of sharing food with people you love.
Living consciously is very much starting to “have its moment” in Melbourne, What do you believe is the most important change people should make if they want to be kinder to their bodies?
Every Body is different. I guess my hope is for everyone to love their bodies first and foremost. To acknowledge the work our body does to transport us through life. Something I do is try to gauge how I feel after eating certain foods. If a food isn’t making me feel vital I may eat less or none of it.
Have you always been consciously healthy? If not, when did the change happen?
I have understood the benefits of a nutritious diet for a long time. I have had times in my life where I have been incredibly unhealthy and unkind to myself. I am just thankful that when those times have occurred I have known how to ‘get back’ to neutral and in more recent years have more compassion towards myself.
When do you feel most balanced?
Balanced is when I get 8 hours of sleep a night, 5 or more yoga classes a week and some time out in the wild in the weekend. Dinners breakfasts coffees with friends somehow manage to make it in there too. My life is rich with extraordinary people and opportunities.
What does a typical day in the life of Georgie Castle look like?
630am yoga. kitchen by 8am. prepping and finishing orders solo or with my wonderful oompa loompas until … it’s done. many breaks for phone calls/invoicing/meetings/lunch/deliveries!
if morning yoga hasn’t happened I will hit up a 6pm – otherwise I will grab dinner with friends or find myself at an event or workshop… there’s always SOMETHING going on!! Ideally in bed before midnight. Varying success rate with that.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
‘Hear that beat? March to it.. it’s all yours. Say I love you in the mirror every damn day. ANYTHING you desire is within your reach. Be bold. Be kind. Speak your mind.
We feel it’s extremely important to support local industry? As a growing business, what are some of the simple ways people can get behind businesses and talents?
Go to the Farmers Markets and or craft and food markets and have a chat to the makers… it’s so exciting to know exactly where your food and other items come from. And once you know.. tell other people. A shout out on Instagram or Facebook is an awesome way to let others in on your experiences and get them excited too! Melbourne is JAMMED with people doing awesome unique and interesting things. Read up online .. (such as HERE at Twosixmag) to find out what’s going on.. and get out there into the community!
Can you tell us what motives you?
I love people. I love stories and connection. shared dreams and visions and the realization of ideas. I am lucky enough to get all of this and more every day at Citizen Cacao. I am in a permanent state of bliss due to the phenomenal people I encounter out in the community and in my little cacao haven.
And lastly, what are your hopes for the future?
The time is now. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like … but I hope it sounds like a raucous laugh…