Saturday, 26 March 2011


...and then the monolithic cafe-cum-homewares shop next door burnt down. 

In the early days I'd wished for some of the opposition's custom. Then over time as people tried us out or tired of them I built my customer base. And I was quite happy with the way our two businesses balanced one another: I got the lefty/artsy/Green crowd, they got the conservative WASP crowd. It worked nicely. 

I trusted that my customers would come with me on my new tangent, I just couldn't have imagined that I'd halve the number of tables about a fortnight before I'd end up with no competition at my end of the street. The place next door probably had seating for 80... Then it was gone.

To say I was busy would be to grossly understate the situation. I had one staff member who'd been with me for a few years but she was off to Tanzania about six weeks after the fire. The cook was new, the second waitress too. It was a cussing nightmare.

My favourite time at the cafe - when it was closed...

Whereas previously I'd have done 1.5-2 kilos of coffee a day all of a sudden I was doing 6 kilos. I was tied to the coffee machine from opening to well after lunch and simply had to hope that the staff were managing everything else. 

Melanie Joy designed tea towel

I put the cafe up for sale. It sold. It was the most amazing job I've ever had. And by the end it was the most bittersweet. I'd loved it and in a way I still did. But...

I bid you adieu #9.

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