Couple swap busy Sydney life for country Dungog

FAMILY AFFAIR: Duncan, Harper, Natalie, Douglas and Ethan Spedding.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Duncan, Harper, Natalie, Douglas and Ethan Spedding.

When Natalie and Duncan Spedding swapped Sydney city life to become small business operators they had no idea how much they would fall in love with Dungog.

“We used to holiday here and have dinner at the local cafes and never would have imagined we would one day be living here,” said Natalie.

The couple moved to the area with children Ethan, now 5 and Harper, now 4 , about 20 months ago.

While the children are operating at a wonderfully relaxed country pace, Natalie and paticulalry Dunca,n have never been busier.

While working for Sydney Airport, Duncan was offered voluntary redundancy around the same time his father, Douglas Spedding, decided to turn the old emporium in Dowling Street into a pizza shop.

“Dad asked us to come up and give him a hand with the shop and while it was a long time coming to get it actually opened, it’s just been fantastic,” said Duncan.

This month Dungog Pizza is celebrating one year in business with part of its success put down to the pizza bases made by hand from a 30-year-old recipe.

“We are very lucky to have had such great local staff to get us where we are today,” added Duncan.

The beautiful old building at 260 Dowling Street was once a general store before seeing tenants such as a  florist, accountant, Dungog Gas Company a wool shop and Bindy’s Patch Bakery Arts and Crafts.

“I wanted to do something a little different with it so decided to open Dungog’s first pizza shop and have a restaurant on one side and pizza shop on the other,” said Douglas.

While the interior was refitted with modern kitchen equipment the original floorboards were kept and the old world charm remains with a bicycle built for two and a penny farthing just two of the many delights adorning the walls.