Ross and Christine Ledingham were inspired by a shared experience.
Ross, Founder and Managing Director of Potentia Solutions Leisure, spent close to 15 years living in Dubai and exploring the Middle East.
Joined by wife Christine, they enriched themselves in the vibrant culinary and hospitality scene which, as Christine reflects, boasts something unique which was until very recently, curiously absent in Australia.
“Everything that we’ve brought here has been an iteration of something we’ve seen around the world” she says.
“When we came back, we wanted to take that amazing experience, that we felt had the best of everything not just from a hospitality perspective, but (crucially) from an experiential perspective, and bring it here”.
Potentia’s Brisbane venues, including Lina Rooftop, Soko Restaurant, Soul Green Deli, Claw BBQ and Carmen Tequileria have since won a slew of awards across the industry, with Founder and Managing Director Ross being awarded 2023 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Award - Hospitality & Tourism.
“I was looking for a kitchen and bar financier that was willing to share our risk and grow at the speed we were”
Flexikitch partnered with Potentia to provide equipment financing, supply and assistance across various projects during their rapid rise.
Speaking of Flexikitch, Ross (recently featured by Forbes in a glowing endorsement of Potentia’s expansion) commented:
“I was looking for a kitchen and bar (hospitality) financier that was willing to share our risk and grow at the speed we were”.
“Flexikitch’s equipment servicing for the entire rental sets them apart from other financiers, and it became an easy choice for me”.
The glittering Lina Rooftop venue in particular feels (deliberately) like dipping your toes into the Mediterranean, with a 1500sqm open-air terrace overlooking a sparkling, 30 metre infinity pool with a breath-taking view of the city skyline.
Sipping a cocktail while watching the sunset from this magnificently alluring vantage point is fast becoming one of Brisbane’s most sought-after experiences.
Lina boasts sweeping city views amid a beach club atmosphere and is featured on Broadsheet.
As is the case with all of our finance partners, Flexikitch shares our customer’s risk and invests in their success - providing capital, equipment expertise and funding at the outset of projects to help customers grow.
“Flexikitch have speedy response times, competitive pricing and fast results. They are easy to work with and I have a great relationship with Co-Founder Alex and the team” reflects Ross.
Mr Ledingham had spent 20 years building hospitality venues in both London and the Middle East prior to relocating to Australia with wife Christine, however their incredible rate of growth and accompanying success since is even more striking, considering its backdrop: immediately post-pandemic.
“We actually opened our first (venue) about six months after we came out of Lockdown” Christine continues.
“We were in a market where nobody wanted to make any moves. There was so much uncertainty, but as a result, so many opportunities at that time. I think we were lucky to have pounced on the opportunity, having had such a clear direction of where we wanted to take the business”.
“Our vision of where we want to take the business in this first five years has kind of felt like an endless episode of The Block”
Unsurprisingly, given the amount of work they have undertaken in the past two years, the Ledinghams’ ongoing cycle of venue building, construction, investor partnerships and (in two cases) selling – has brought its own series of challenges.
“Trying to grow at the pace we have been while continuing to be profitable has been hugely challenging. Our vision for where we want to take the business in this first five years has in some ways felt like an endless episode of The Block” Christine laughs.
“We turned into a big business very quickly”.
Given their extraordinary output since 2021, a theoretical season of ‘The Block’ following the Ledinghams would certainly have been captivating television. However, unlike many of that show’s contestants, their story would demonstrate a prime example of commercial hospitality projects done right.
“What we’ve always tried to do is create experiences, not just hospitality”
In 2023, Potentia Solutions Leisure hosts more than 15,000 customers a week, employing over 500 people.
It all began only a very short time ago.
“Most of the venues we’ve opened have been experiential” continues Christine.
“For example, Lina is one of those beach clubs with an international DJ every weekend (think Dubai, Las Vegas, Mykonos) which doesn’t exist in Australia outside of resorts, a venue where you can swim in the pool, drink cocktails, enjoy live music”.
“At (Peruvian-Japanese inspired) Soko we’ve got Peruvian Dancers, you can take photos, it’s a theatre show”
“It’s not just a restaurant”.
Lina Rooftop also features automatic doors, app-controlled lockers and a swimwear shop, taking great care to cater to the more luxurious desires of its customers, crafting an environment, an experience; one that rises well beyond the typical expectations of a hospitality venue.
“What we’ve always tried to do is create experiences, not just hospitality” recounts Christine.
An experience to be shared indeed.