In the small coastal town of Sorrento, Italy, in a puff of smoke and flour, Hannah and Zak Round first learnt the art of traditional and authentic pizza-making. Their teacher, Chef Biagio, shared with them his top secrets: keep it simple, use beautiful ingredients, nail the dough.
The couple had met in 2010 whilst travelling overseas, instantly bonding over a shared love of travel, adventure, music festivals, and of course, Italian food. Zak had grown up on the outskirts of Melbourne, whilst Hannah hailed from the inner-city suburb of Islington in London. They quickly decided that from then on out, they'd be travelling together.
Upon returning from their trip, the pair posted up in London for a while and began formulating a modest business plan. They'd buy a classic truck, fit it out, and start selling traditional wood-fired pizza at events and festivals. They purchased their first Citroen H van in London, and a second in France, having fallen in love with the old-school vintage aesthetic.
In 2012, the couple rolled the dice and decided to move to Australia. Hannah had one condition for moving down under; there was no way they were living in the suburbs. They had to live by the beach. So, they packed all of their belongings into one of the old Citroens and shipped it across the globe, settling bayside in Mount Martha.
Converting an old truck into a food van proved easier said than done. Still, they persisted with the plan, and after a few months of wrestling with local registrations and permits, the pair landed their first festival at The Briars. It was there that they sold their very first wood-fired pizza, using the skills that Chef Biagio had taught them.
After that first event, momentum started to build. The pizza wagon was booked for markets and events across Melbourne, with Hannah and Zak carting the old van up and down Peninsula Link and working 12+ hour days. It was a boutique offering, and Hannah and Zak's combined charm and swagger created an instant vibe.
In 2016, Hannah and Zak flew back to England and married on a bush block in Hampshire. They threw the mother of all parties, essentially a mini-festival for friends and family, complete with live music, glamping tents, tipis and food trucks. Their plan for their big day was simple; they just wanted everyone to have a really, really good time.
On their honeymoon, the newlyweds started gathering ideas for how they could bring the concept back to Australia. "Wewanted to be able to offer something fun and unique for people to personalise their own weddings," explains Zak.
So, they decided it was time to start growing the family. First off, they added a small (but mighty) gelato cart, supplied by Tuttifruitti Artisan Gelato in Mornington, to roll up beside the pizza wagon and offer an EPIC dessert option. Think generous scoops of Ferrero Rocher gelato or Blood Orange sorbet to finish off your celebration feast.
Next up was Nordic-inspired tipi tents (Peninsula Tipi Co), followed by an off-the-grid cool room (The Pretty Cool Room), luxury AND eco-friendly port-a-loos (Privy The Pretty), and an old horse float transformed into a swanky cocktail bar (The Old Fashioned). Each addition was thoughtfully selected, beautifully styled, and intended to make each celebration feel that extra bit special. They brought it all together under Gather Round Events Co, a play on the couple's surname. Two more add-ons also arrived during this time, with daughters Elodie and Hazel joining the Gather Round crew.
These days, Zak and Hannah specialise in bespoke weddings, bringing all of these magical elements together to create show-stopping (and party-starting) celebrations. When asked what they love most about running their business, Hannah and Zak agree that it's the chance to bring people together and create memorable moments.
"We consider ourselves lucky to be able to be involved in some of the most special days of people's lives, whether it be a wedding, birthday or baby shower," says Hannah.
"It's so nice to do a job where you never look at the clock; you never wish the hours away. Most of the time, you don't want the event to end!" says Zak.
So, what's next for the playful pair? "We're always juggling 5-10 new ideas!" laughs Hannah. "We'd love to own our own Gather Round venue one day, where we can help to curate the whole experience". Until then, you can find Hannah, Zak and the Gather Round crew popping up at parties all over The Ninch. Get in touch to add a touch of magic, style and wonder to your next event.