Plus be informed about Local news, events,

upcoming gigs and more.

Enter your Name and Email Address:

Meet The Couples Shaping Sandgate’s  Local Business Scene

Story: Alyssa Mackay | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Apr 24, 2024
Meet The Couples Shaping Sandgate’s  Local Business Scene
Sandgate is a vibrant community where many entrepreneurial couples are taking the plunge into owning and operating a business together.

In our new series highlighting businesses in the area, the Sandgate Guide is sharing the success stories of some of these dynamic duos.

One such couple is Matt and Belinda Batty (image top left), the owners of CrossFit 4017 on Kempster Street. Since 2016, they have worked hard to grow their business and build a positive and welcoming community.

“We added equipment, invested in technology and then hit an awesome milestone in 2020 when we purchased the premises,” Matt said.

After living abroad for seven years, Matt decided Sandgate was the perfect place to settle down. He convinced his then-girlfriend, Belinda, to purchase a home with him in the area.

“We then set about making it our own, four renovations later, with our dog Chewbacca and our children, James and Izzy,” he said. “We love our house, the village feel, the water, CrossFit 4017 and being part of the 4017 community.”

As business owners, Belinda and Matt bring different skills to the table. Belinda is an expert in running gymnastics facilities and competitive gymnastics programs, and Matt has a wealth of corporate experience.

“We have both learnt so much from the experience in how to soften to meet the needs of a small business and community whilst also having the rigour to make sure the doors can stay open, and we do what is best long term for our functional fitness community,” Belinda said.

Like many business owners, the Battys faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the support of the community, hard work and determination, they were able to weather the storm.

“We now look forward to continued improvements to our already awesome space and supporting our community in longevity, functionality and good times,” Matt said.

Another local couple making a positive impact on the 4017 community is Lucinda Dowling Black and Toby Black, (image top right) who own and operate the Full Moon Hotel. They have a long history of running pubs together, starting in Darwin 20 years ago.

Having previously owned a country pub in Eltham, in the Byron Bay Hinterland, Lucinda and Toby saw the potential in the Full Moon Hotel and knew they could breathe new life into the business.

“We run pubs that are in close-knit communities, so that really attracted us to Sandgate,” Luci said. “We wanted somewhere to raise our children, who were starting primary school at that stage.”

Since purchasing the hotel in 2015, the couple has made significant improvements to the venue, including a design refresh and refurbishments to the dining spaces, bars, gaming lounge and kids’ play space. 

“We like finding businesses and fixing them up and we always knew that the Full Moon had a really strong foundation,” Lucinda said. “We knew that we could pour all of our love into it and it would flourish.”

Stay tuned for stories about a few exciting new businesses in the area in the next of our series in the Sandgate Guide.