Beatrice Bowen was born in UK, in the area of Surrey which is 25 minutes out of London. She left her parents and brother behind at the age of 18 to travel the world, and ended up in Australia. After a couple of years here, she travelled back home and undertook a degree in Property Development at the University of West England. In 2004 she decided to make Sydney Australia her home and has been here ever since.
“Australia is my home, I’m a citizen and I’ve lived in Surry Hills for the last five years, before that I was in Bondi Junction and Kings Cross, so Eastern Suburbs through and through. I went from one Surrey to another Surry across the other side of the world; I was definitely drawn to this.
“My brother followed me out to Australia and now lives in Manly. My parents come over and live with me for six months of the year. I was lucky enough to buy a house about five years ago and they also seem to it too, so I’ve got a few more mouths to feed these days. They love Australia and they’re looking to move here themselves, it’s a real privilege to be able to spend that time with your parents.
“When you’re growing up life can get really busy and you’re spending all this time going to school and they’re at work, whereas now I get to spend a lot more quality time with them. I’ve also got a five-year-old dog named Minty who is the heart and soul of my family.
“I’ve been working for Caltex for ten years, as well as having completed a Masters of Property Development at the University of Technology Sydney.
“I decided to study property management because I just love how tangible real estate is, I love the fact that it’s an investment that everyone can make and it just underpins the success of every business in Australia. It’s true what they say – location, location, location.
“My background at Caltex consists of a number of roles across real estate, I’ve had the opportunity to move roles every two to three years, and I’ve always found that Caltex has been very supportive of change.
“I had the privilege of joining the convenience-retail strategy project back in 2016 so I’m very passionate about seeing that executed.
“With the emergence of disruption that we’re seeing in fuel with electric vehicles and car sharing technology, as well as digital platforms, we wanted to see how we can better utilise our national real estate network to better serve customers.
“Caltex has very conveniently located real estate across the country and our sites can very easily become those beacons for local and rural communities. We wanted to better serve our customers with a transformational offer so what we did is, take a lot of research from around the world and take the best global practice in convenience retail and landed on a strategy that really focused around giving customers more reasons to shop with us and how we can could really make customers lives easier through conveniently freshly prepared food, great value, barista coffee and then overlaying that with convenience services like picking up parcels from our service stations and using digital technology.
“We’ve developed a number of apps, one of them was FuelPay which gives customers the ability to pay for fuel at the pump and the other is our pre-order app which enables customers to pre-order their coffee and food and generally make their lives easier when shopping with us.
“I think, having spent a lot of time overseas and having seen what global best practice is with convenience retail, I was really passionate about bringing some of those ideas to Australian customers.
“Australian customers really deserve some of the offers that you can see overseas and The Foodary is really bringing that to life.
“The Foodary came about through a team of us that were put together across the business, so we cherry picked some of the talent to get all the best ideas and figure out what would work best for customers.
“We also have Nashi, a grab-and-go and coffee retailer based in Melbourne. What we really loved about the Nashi offer is that it really plays to the same freedom of convenience strategy that Caltex is working towards. That is around great food and great coffee readily available for customers so they can just go into a Nashi, grab a sandwich, grab a coffee and be out within in minutes rather than having to wait around to have any food prepared.
“Nashi also gives us the option to get into a lot more convenient spaces; we’ll see a number of new Nashi sites appear in great convenient transport locations. Late last year we won a tender with NSW Rail to deliver not only The Foodary, but also Nashi stores into former ticket booths. What I really love about transport locations, like train stations is they’re very similar in what we’re trying to achieve in a service station—customers are in a hurry, they’re on the move and we want to provide them with great food and coffee, and convenient services.
“We recently launched The Foodary at Bondi Junction, so that’s everything you would expect to see at one of our petrol and convenience locations just without the fuel.
“We’ve got great barista coffee; we’ve got pre-packaged ready meals, great fresh cut fruit, sandwiches, salads and all your underlying convenience/grocery items. We’re also using self-check-out technology to ensure the customer experience is friendly but also fast.
“We also recently opened Nashi at Chatswood and then before Christmas we opened a Nashi in the Clarence St. portal at Wynyard and we’ve got further locations to come both in Kings Cross and Parramatta.
“Caltex Spark is an accelerator program hosted by a company called Slingshot. It enables us to cast the net wide for all start-ups and scale-ups that could potentially work with Caltex and help us to bring to life some innovation to deliver better services and products to our customers not only in convenience retail but also in our fuels and infrastructure business. That launched in early February and we ran a series of road shows across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Auckland to really bring that message to all the start-ups and scale-ups communities that are out there.
“I’m very passionate about how real estate plays in the overall economy. That’s our entire intention, with bringing our offers to life in non-fuel locations. It gives us the option to find convenient locations that don’t necessarily need to depend on fuel, in more fantastic locations nationally. We’re aiming to get a number of high street locations this year to bring our offer to life to more customers.
“I’m still very keen on bringing The Foodary to more and more locations. In this day and age you can’t develop one option and expect it be relevant for the foreseeable future. I’m very keen to see Caltex drive innovation and that’s really reliant on us being constantly hungry for new and better ways for us to service customers. I think Caltex is leading the way in driving retail innovation for customer experience and value.