Kelly Khodeir is a Hills District Mum (and grandma) and the wife of the renowned George of George’s Gourmet Pizzeria. For almost 30 years the couple has owned and operated the Hills institution, building a loyal following of customers that now spans generations. Soon George’s Gourmet Pizzeria will undergo a huge change, moving to a new location in CircaRetail Shopping Centre, Bella Vista.
Tell us about the history of George’s Gourmet Pizzeria
Our current restaurant used to be our favourite pizza place to eat at when my husband and I first got married and moved to our new home in Castle Hill. We would eat there often and built a good friendship with the owners. A couple of years later we walked in to buy a pizza and out of the blue the owners offered us part ownership in the business! We gladly accepted and loved it so much that a few years down the track we ended up taking full ownership of the business and named it George’s Gourmet Pizzeria. It’s been that way for the last 29 years.
What do you love about what you do?
It’s the simple things like cooking for my customers with love and hearing that they’ve enjoyed their meal. It always gives me great joy when I hear such compliments from my customers, especially when they go out of their way and call me to say they had a fabulous meal. I also love it when customers recognise me outside of the restaurant and come up just to say hello.
How have you managed the juggled between running your own business and raising a family?
I would utilise my time in the day to be all about looking after my children, preparing meals and cleaning my home. Then, when the children were older, I would go to work with my husband only on the busiest nights of the week – I worked the rush period and then come back home. It was hard to juggle but as they got older it became a lot easier, especially when they were old enough to learn the trade! They all helped out in the restaurant and that really made it a family-run business.
What do you love about being a mum?
Just knowing that my children are happy and them knowing that they are loved by their father and me gives me all the satisfaction in the world. Now that I’m a grandmother I also love watching my family grow and sharing happy moments with these new little people in our family.
What do you love about living in the Hills?
I love that it’s a relatively safe place to live and bring up a family. The people are very nice and friendly. It’s developed so much over the years and now has such a wide range of good schools, colleges and churches.
What do you enjoy doing in the Hills?
I enjoy shopping at Castle Towers and Stockland Mall. I like going to the local RSL and other establishments in the Hills for lunch and catching up with my family and friends. I also love taking my grandchildren to the lake at Norwest to feed the ducks.
You have a massive change ahead for the business – moving locations for the first time in 30 years. How are you feeling about it?
I have mixed feelings. I’m sad because I’ll be leaving the place that I’ve been going every day for most of my life. When we close the doors for the last time on our little restaurant it will be really hard. But knowing that we are moving to a brand new stylish restaurant and that our loyal customers have all told me that they will follow us there makes me feel happy and excited about this new chapter.