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Ashleigh Gee: The Gee Whizz

“We should open a bar,” is a phrase that most people have said at least once in their lives.

But Ashleigh Gee actually went and did it.

Not only did Ash launch a bar (Miss Gee’s) with no previous hospitality experience and no understanding of the skills she would need to be successful, but she was also immediately hit with the Covid lockdowns leaving her fledgling business tilting on the precipice of failure.

“As with all businesses and their owners, there is so much more than meets the eye,” recalls Downtown Tauranga’s mainstreet manager, Millie Pidwell.

“When I sat down to chat with Ash about her business, her background, and some of the challenges she has faced and overcome since opening Miss Gee’s three years ago, I was in awe of Ash’s grit, determination, positivity, and drive to succeed and see her vision come to life for not only herself but for Tauranga as a whole.”

Ashleigh is quite clear in her vision: “I wanted to create a fun vibrant space for like-minded people to feel at home in the CBD. A place with good food, good liquor and good music. A place with soul. It was something I felt Tauranga was missing. After dabbling in event management for a few years, I set my sights on bringing Miss Gee’s to life. The vision for Miss Gee’s is simple: you’re always welcome here. Pop in one day and check out what we have created for Tauranga.”

Recently, Ash went one step further with Miss Gee’s collecting the Pernod Ricard Outstanding Bartender and the Southern Hospitality Outstanding Bar awards at the 2022 Bay Hospitality Awards last month, recognition of her transformational work with Miss Gees.

She also picked up the Future Leader of the Year award at last week’s Hospitality New Zealand’s 2022 Excellence awards.

For anyone who’s ever wanted to follow a dream and launch a hospitality venue, or who wants to learn how to pull success from the jaws of almost certain defeat, pour yourself a cold one and listen to her recent podcast interview:

LISTEN: Taming the Gee ‘n’ T’s: Ash Gee

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