Life & Style

The bubbly energy behind Charlestown’s go-to cafe haunt

It’s that time again when we take you behind the scenes with our favourite local business owners and creatives to find out where they go to eat, what playlist they’re listening to, where they take their out-of-town friends, and ultimately, what makes them tick.

For our 9th instalment of SPILL, we’re catching up with the brains behind Charlestown go-to spot for top-notch coffee and healthy treats, Kylie Pheils of Mama P.

spill kylie pheils mama p charlestown newcastle nsw
Kylie Pheils

Firstly, what and where would people across Newcastle recognise you from?

I spent 10 years working locally in radio as a producer and presenter just before I created wholefoods store Mama-P at Charlestown. 

Where are you from?

I’m a local gal born and bred in the Belmont area, travelled for seven years then settled back down here in Charlestown. 

Do you consider yourself more of an early bird or a night owl?

Mornings are my jam. I’ve always chosen jobs that start early. I love the calmness and serenity of waking up before everyone else and doing the opposite of 9-5. 

What’s your morning ritual? 

If I’m not opening up at the cafe I’ll meditate, have a cup of tea, make breakfast and lunch for the kids then head to the beach with my dog to catch the sunrise. 

What’s your coffee order?

Well, believe it or not, I’ve never actually had a cup of coffee in my life! I’ve never liked the taste and I’ve never needed caffeine to get me up and going. Pretty ironic considering we now own a coffee shop, but I left that section of the business to my hubby who loves coffee. I do everything else. 

But coffee aside, I have not long started drinking green tea but I can only have 1 cup a day or I’ll get heart palpitations (yes, I’m such a lightweight) so herbal tea it is mostly. 

Tell me about your biggest career highlight…

We won best small business at the Lake Macquarie and Hunter Business Awards within our first couple of years opening. To still be going strong for almost 10 years is of course a huge achievement in itself. 

In your spare time, what are your THREE top favourite things to do in Newcastle?

A daily walk on Redhead Beach is a must! Catching up with friends and family, going out on our boat, or riding bikes around town. 

If you wanted to dazzle your out-of-town friends and family, where would you take them? 

A bushwalk through Glenrock to the beach, a lap around the foreshore, and you can’t beat the views at Merewether Surfhouse. Also, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club is a great venue for sunset drinks. 

Beer? Wine? Cocktail? Mocktail? What is your tipple of choice and where do you frequently visit? 

Chardonnay or Shiraz. Living in Charlestown we love 4 Pines Brewery at The Corner and The Royal Crown Dudley. If heading into town we love The Signal Box, Light Years Asian Diner, and Antojitos

On the daily, what’s guaranteed to make you smile?

Our rescue dog Kane. He’s a kelpie and he’s 7. He brings all our family so much love. 

What do you NEVER leave the house without? 

A hat, a jumper, and a water bottle. All bases covered!

We’re all about keeping it local here at HUNTERhunter – tell me THREE of your favourite local businesses that you live and breathe by and why you couldn’t live without them…

The Tea Collective – no other tea compares; I can’t drink anything else because I’ve been spoilt with the best. 

Gracie Barra Charlestown - Brazilian jiu-jitsu school my boys attend. Confidence, grit, and discipline is what kids need. The owners Arnie and Kayla are legends. 

Mama-P Charlestown - biased yes, I know, but we love and live by the food and products we sell, and spending most of our time here, we eat and use everything daily. 

What are you reading / watching / listening to now?

I love audiobooks, currently listening to Osho. I’ve also just started to learn to DJ so I’m deep down the YouTube rabbit hole of all things DJing – it’s so fun! 

If you’re needing a short break away from Newcastle, where do you go and why? 

Kim’s Beachside Retreat in Toowoon Bay. It’s an adult-only resort. Book the South Beach bungalow. Private pool, spa, sauna. Thank me later!

What’s your go-to playlist?

Oh – so many to mention but one can’t go past old-school funk/disco. I’m currently digging and spinning this style of house too.

What would you like to see more of in Newcastle?

Long lunches with live music or a DJ of the daytime so us 40+ gals can still party, have a boogie, and be home tucked into bed by 8pm so the following day is not a write-off! 

Lucky last – who would you recommend we interview next for SPILL?

Becci from The Tea Collective.