Business & invest,
Like father like son, the Gloftis family….
Kyle Mitchell-Smith | April 30, 2021
Hospitality and food runs deeply through the veins of Gold Coast father and son Jim and Simon Gloftis, from Miami Marketta to Hellenika with a swag of beauties in-between.
We Are Gold Coast spent the morning with Simon Gloftis chatting about the evolving dining scene over the past 10 years.
From an early age Simon Gloftis was introduced to hospitality and events by his Dad Jim Gloftis who started community markets in Melbourne in his mid 20’s. Jim gained notoriety for creating one of the strongest market communities for Melbourne’s Western suburbs.
An unlikely turn of events saw Jim and his young family relocate from Melbourne town to the Sunshine State, where Jim secured the lease to open the original Rocklea Flea Markets in Brisbane that he successfully ran for 29 years.
With community markets at the forefront of Jims mind, he continued to create spaces opening several more markets in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. His three sons were brought up in and around the markets, often lending a hand to their hard-working dad.
“Dad got a taste of community markets at an early age and once he started the Rocklea markets there was no stopping him, he has always had a strong sense of community to create spaces for people to connect “Simon said.
Decades of experience and hard work gave Jim the opportunity to open a new style of street food market and Miami Marketta was born. Along with a creative team of event managers and artists Miami Marketta has firmly placed the Gold Coast on the national map.
Miami Marketta is built in a disused industrial area in the back streets of Mermaid Beach, creating an artists hub for people to gather. Drawing on similar principles that Jim learned from the many years prior, Marketta has created a strong connection between people and place.
Marketta has been providing good times to Gold Coast revellers and visitors to the city for nearly a decade and is a fusion of laneway dining, pop up artist events and live music.
Jim eldest son Simon started working at his father’s markets at a young age before moving into hospitality by the age of 15 where he washed dishes and delivered pizzas for the local restaurant. Determined to learn all facets of the business, Simon began cooking the pizzas and fondly recalls feeling at home in the kitchen.
“I was born in Melbourne to a Greek Father and Polish Mother which gave me an understanding of different cultures and in particular their food, coupled with growing up in and around the markets I learned the importance of community” Simon said
With a strong sense of family and business this young entrepreneur has created some of the most renowned places, both past and present, in South East Queensland. His foray into owning and operating his own business was Three Beans coffee shop in Broadbeach 20 years ago, creating one of the first real espresso bars on the Gold Coast.
Simon recalls Three Beans as a real meeting place for the community where he quickly learned all the trials and tribulations of owning and operating a small business. After a short stint in Real Estate, Simon’s path was destined for hospitality.
Not adverse to hard work and with a passion for fresh produce and good food, Simon set about seeking other opportunities, owning and operating Little Beans and Piccolo in Nobbys Beach. Firmly cementing himself in the Coasts Café scene gave Simon the perspective to realise what else the beachside community required.
Enter Hellenika was born, with well thought out planning and an extensive renovation the Greek inspired restaurant opened with gusto in 2010. Hellenika is often referred to as one of the first to move the Gold Coast dining scene into an exciting new direction, introducing a contemporary twist to authentic Greek fare.
Not stopping there; Simon was off and running (like father like son) and set about looking for another space to open a fresh new venture for Burleigh to add to his already impressive portfolio.
Burleigh and its burgeoning food scene was the place and the iconic Fish House was born. The focus was on fresh Australian seafood, top-notch service and a fine dining experience- with the most impressive views across the ocean and beyond.
The award-winning restaurant became well known both locally and nationally, creating a foodie destination. The Gloftis magic (food) touch had now extended from Broadbeach to Nobbys Beach to Burleigh, with a plethora of markets in-between.
Simons next venture post Fish House was the dazzling fine dining venue Nineteen at the Star, taking his right-hand man and executive chef Kelvin Andrews along for the ride. Nineteen quickly became known as the elegant place to dine with the best views in town.
Next stop Brisbane to reinvent his old favourite Hellenika, born on the Gold Coast and raised in Brisbane Hellenika has the same charm, service and food offering as its previous venue in Nobbys Beach.
“It was time to take the leap into Brisbane and I felt the ideal offering was Hellenika, I will always pay homage to my roots on the Gold Coast, my home is on the coast and I look forward to new ventures- I’m not intending to slow down anytime soon” Simon said.
More recently Simon and his team have opened up a new offering SK Steak & Oyster in James St Brisbane adjacent to the ever-popular Calile hotel which is a hop and skip from Hellenika. SK is a sophisticated grille with beautifully appointed booths and furniture, a fusion of New York City meets Los Angeles with a Brisbane twist.
Simon sites his family and in particular his dad as one of his mentors and inspiration behind his career along with people he has met along the way who achieve great things with little or no ego.
So, what’s next for this forward thinking, hard working father and son duo, one things for sure they will continue to create food and hospitality offerings that connect people to place-it runs freely through their blood line.
*** Yemista (Greek stuffed tomatoes and vegetables) is a family meal which Simon and his family often enjoy. There is no set recipe and can change with each meal, but always turns out Nostimo (delicious)!
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