Inclusive & Accessible Business Award sponsored by TAC: Splatters Cheese Bar

October 19, 2023 BY

Former army chef Jo Bangles (right) is the owner of Splatters Cheese Bar, Geelong's original cheese train.

The team at Splatters Cheese Bar have adapted the sushi train concept to create a fromagerie like no other in the southern hemisphere.

The business boasts a 20-metre cheese train that features more than 20 varieties of Australian artisanal cheeses and produce.

Located on Pakington Street in Geelong West, Splatters Cheese Bar supports the Australian dairy industry, wine makers, and breweries from across the Geelong region, and female artisans.

But it was the business’ focus on inclusivity that most impressed the judges, winning Splatters Cheese Bar the Inclusive & Accessible Business Award, sponsored by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

“At Splatters Cheese Bar they have put a lot of thought, time, and effort into being an inclusive and accessible business,” judge David Petherick said.

“They have actively reached out to, and engaged with, diverse community groups and have built enduring links and authentic relationships with them.

“They have created a trusted and safe business for their whole community, and this is at the heart of inclusion and access.”

The Inclusive & Accessible Business Award, sponsored by the TAC, celebrates businesses that demonstrate a high level of understanding about inclusive and accessible workplace practices.

Owner Jo Bangles and her wife Tennille Meisel envision Splatters Cheese Bar as a community connecting place.

One that provides a safe space where everyone can be exactly who they are.

It is an ethos that guides all their business decisions.

They champion diversity in their employment choices, aiming to work with those who may otherwise be overlooked.

They also select suppliers that share their inclusive values and partner with like-minded local businesses and entrepreneurs to create cross-promotional events to engage with the community.

Splatters Cheese Bar has come a long way since its beginnings as a food truck selling cheese platters at markets and festivals.

After weathering the challenges presented by COVID by shifting the business online, Bangles and Meisel found new levels of success.

This allowed them to take a chance and return to a physical location.

Drawing inspiration from similar international concepts, Geelong’s cheese train was born.

After less than two years of operation, Splatters Cheese Bar’s popularity speaks for itself.

Tourists travel from across the world to enjoy the ‘Cheese your own adventure’ experience, and the team at Splatters Cheese Bar are already preparing to open a second site.

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The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a Victorian government-owned organisation and a prominent employer in the Geelong region. It is firmly dedicated to making a positive impact on the communities where its staff reside and operate and is this year’s sponsor of the Inclusive and Accessible Business Award.

With a mission to champion road safety and help those injured get their lives back on track, the TAC extends critical financial support to individuals injured in transport accidents. Victoria has a proud history of socially progressive accident compensation, providing the community with the surety that everyone remains covered regardless of fault.

The organisation also plays a key role in educating the community about road safety and enhancing Victoria’s road network.

Embedded within the TAC’s ethos are core values that shape its actions and influence its approach: a deep reverence for life, a desire to make every conversation count, and dedication to simplifying complexities. These values underscore the TAC and guide the support it offers.

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