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Fall in love with Kaleen

Ashleigh Went

When it comes to small business, location can be crucially important.

For Rosie Gaul, Kaleen isn’t just the suburb she operates her cake decorating business from, it’s been the backdrop for her life for 36 years.

Rosie grew up in Kaleen, and in 2009 when she and her husband Scott were looking for a place to call their own, the choice was obvious.

“Scott and I both grew up in Kaleen, so it has always felt like home, which is what attracted us to eventually buy here.”

The large blocks of land have enabled Rosie’s family to establish their home in exactly the way they like.

“I love the big blocks of land” Rosie says, “we can have chickens! We currently have two chickens, Elsa and Emma Wiggle, named by my two-year-old, Roxy. This is especially great for me as I run a cake decorating business, Rosie Cakes, from home and if I happen to run out of eggs when baking, I can just walk up the back to check the henhouse – the girls haven’t let me down yet!”

Not to mention the beauty of an established suburb, with lots of trees and wide streets, and well as the close proximity to surrounding town centres.

“Kaleen is a 15-minute drive to the city and 10 minutes to Belconnen and Gungahlin. I can even ride my bike to work in the city – using the bike paths it only takes around 25-30 minutes.”

That being said, there isn’t a great need to stray far from the suburb, as it has multiple shopping destinations including groceries, a chemist, cafes, a hairdresser, newsagent and beauty salon. There’s also a number of spots to grab dinner if you’re not in the mood to cook – Rosie lists the pizza from Kaleen Takeaway and the combination short soup from Awesome Noodle as standouts.

Rosie says that Kaleen is the perfect suburb for families, with three primary schools to choose from and a high school, as well as multiple sports grounds, playgrounds dotted throughout the suburb and a playgroup at the community centre.

While Rosie and Scott have family and friends in the suburb, the sense of community runs deep throughout Kaleen.

“We have a very close community” says Rosie. “I never go down to the shops thinking I will only be a minute, as there is always someone to stop and have a chat to.”

The local businesses not only support the community through charity initiatives, but also provide a point for locals to band together and support one another in times of need. Rosie names Kaleen Bar & Bistro as a business that really lends its support with charity dinners and raffles.

“A couple of times that stand out for me, is when a local bloke suffered a bad heart attack – a couple of guys got together and did a massive clean-up of this backyard, just so he had something nice to come home to.”

“Another time one of the guys who used to work behind the bar there had his first baby, who was born with a medical condition which required lots of attention from the Children’s Hospital in Sydney. Leonie from the Kaleen Bar & Bistro ran a huge fundraising dinner, organising prizes to raffle and auction, to help raise money to support them through their difficult time.”

Rosie says there are particular characters that the residents have grown to love over time. Her list of favourites include the “Kaleen Scribbler – a small man who sits and watches traffic and is constantly scribbling in his notebook”, a man who skis around the suburb on wheels, as well as “the alpaca guy”: “I think he actually lives in Giralang, but is often at the shops at Kaleen with his alpacas. He’s very happy for kids to come and pat his furry friends and either walks them on a lead or you can see them bundled up in the car!”

Oh, and did we mention there’s a particularly fabulous cake decorator?

If you think you could fall in love with Kaleen, be sure to check out the suburb’s listings on realestate.com.au

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Ashleigh Went

Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. She’s currently studying her Certificate in Fitness, but also has a Bachelor of Communication, as well as over 5 years experience working in a gym and several half marathons under her belt. Among other things, she’s a lover of great food, coffee, fashion and more than likely you’ll see her big smile around Canberra hotspots. A self-confessed book worm, she loves her city, hearing peoples stories and travelling to new places. More about the Author

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