Treads of Connection - Sean Bone of Parade Ponsonby

Treads of Connection - Sean Bone of Parade Ponsonby

We recently caught up with our old friend Sean Bone, former VIC rider and now a successful restaurateur. Sean has transitioned from skateboarding to running three thriving food businesses: Parade, Rosalia's, and his latest venture, Bodega. Join us for a chat about his ride and unwavering passion for skateboarding!

Congrats on your new Ponsonby deli - "Bodega"! What inspired you to expand into the new joint Bodega?

There are several reasons we launched Bodega, but the main one for me is the desire to explore different culinary avenues. We've had Parade for a few years now and love it, but as people and cooks, we've matured. We wanted a space where we could produce something a little more upmarket. Bodega will offer bread and pastries in the morning, sandwiches during the day, and full service at night, giving us the opportunity to not be bound to one style of food as we are with the burgers.

You have always been an amazing skater, so what led you to becoming a chef?

We started a cafe in my early 20s, and I actually had no interest in cooking at all. I was all about the coffee. One of my business partners was the cook. He taught me a few things, and before I knew it, I was hooked. My passion for cooking slowly overcame skating. As much as skating every day was always the dream, I’m stoked that I get to do something I love for work.

What are the inspirations behind Parade and Rosalia’s? Also, what challenges and triumphs have you experienced along the way?

Parade started mainly because we had a cafe that was doing well and we were keen to do something new - another form of income and a new venture. It’s a pretty rad thing to have a concept that you and your homies think up, turn into reality, and become successful. For almost a year after we opened Parade, we were working 80-90 hour weeks. We did the math and figured we were getting paid $6 an hour. It was rough, but we stuck with it, putting in everything we had, and it paid off.

Rosalia’s is actually more of a passion project; it’s almost just for fun. We have a space in Mt Eden that’s our bakery for Parade and the soon-to-open Bodega. I’ve been working on these pizzas for years at home, and we thought, why not sell them? We open three days a week, 15 minutes before opening, the line forms down the road, and we are sold out an hour into opening. It’s crazy how it’s all worked out.

What is your daily routine like nowadays? Do you still find time to skate?

At the moment, while we are fitting out Bodega, the routine is very diverse. One day I’m on site with the tools, the next day running a busy service at Parade or down at the bakery cooking the burger buns and pizzas. The last couple of months have been rough on the skating front. I try my best to get out once a week, but we are lucky to get a day off every couple of weeks these days. 

Any advice for someone looking to venture into hospitality?

Make sure you love it. Choose your business partners wisely. I am very lucky to have a good crew; shout out to them. It’s long hours, hard work, but so is anything worth doing.

If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Pasta, pasta, pasta.

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What's the best feeling skate trick?

Younger me would have said catching any flip trick down a set, but these days, definitely a flat ground switch front heel or nollie back heel.

Favorite skater of all time?
WADE D!   
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