I’m not sure if you remember or even read the article I wrote late last year on buying a cafe? Well, here we are at The Bribie Islander Cafe, after seven months of hard graft, blood, sweat, and tears! It’s an interesting game, the hospitality one, never have me and my beautiful wife, Selina, been in the food industry before.

Featured Image(above): THE TEAM: Ellie, Richard, Selina, Sara, and Cameron.

In the beginning, when we bought the cafe we were in with both boots deep with zero experience and I can honestly say it’s a tough gig! We took ownership on a Saturday, with no more help from the previous owner, we are on our own in a scary place, but an exciting place too. Saturday was OK learning the new jobs and various tasks and steady customers all day. BUT, along comes Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day on Bribie, the markets were on across the road in Brennan Park and it was also Fathers Day.

I remember I was the chef and was quite happy cooking up some brekkies until we started to get smashed, order, order, order, order, order, order after order was coming into the kitchen, WOW! Then I stepped back and looked through the serving hatch and there was a queue of people, all the tables were full and more orders coming in!! I stepped back to the grill and then it dawned on me that I’m the chef!!!!

Mindblank took place at this point and I started to panic, I could not focus on the orders and anxiety filled me. But I do love a challenge and decided to count up the items on the orders and before you know it, 15 sausages, 15 eggs, 15 bacon, 15 hash browns, 15 tomatoes, 15 mushrooms, 15 baked beans and I shouted back “Cam, 15 toast please!”. The day continued like this and we were all scarred for life!

The customers don’t like to wait no matter what! It was pretty rough but we all soldiered on and have made it work well with lots of regulars and lots of tourists too. One Sunday it was just me, Selina, Ellie and Cam and we did our biggest day of 80 plus orders, one order could be a table of 6 for example. It was pressure all day and then a feeling of excitement and achievement all in one. Selina plated well over 250 plates of food, Cam ran them out and Ellie made heaps and heaps of coffees, we ran out of supplies twice, amazing job guys. I would personally like to say, to all that have come to the cafe and supported us, A BIG THANK YOU!!! You know who you are.

Some of you may or may not also know that I started this magazine ‘The Bribie Islander’ nearly 5 years ago as a newspaper in August 2014, then after 3 years of being the Editor and owner, I decided to add an A4 gloss magazine for good measure. Then I also started the Bribie Island Solar shop next to the media office. I have recently set up an online wholesale business too. I think it’s called an undiagnosed mental condition?! Anyway, something has to give as I am a dad of three and have been working seven days for God knows how long and want a bit more family time together.

So we have decided to put the Cafe up for sale and so is Bribie Island Solar (0425 477 639) which I’m sure will take several months to sell them and then I’m looking forward to a weekend off I can tell you! We have extended the outdoor dining license from 24 to around 70 plus seats, the council approved and are currently working on a new menu for the cafe, so watch this space! So I was wondering….if you love this magazine, which lots of locals tell us they do, then come to the cafe and see if you love our food and the best coffee on Bribie (we get told) and help support the Islander magazine too! Meet me and the good lady wife Selina.

We are open Wednesday to Sunday 8 am till 1 pm and sometimes longer depending on the demand. If you mention this article we will give you a FREE coffee with any meal purchased. See you at The Bribie Islander Cafe? Opposite Brennan Park, Shop 2/9 Toorbul St, Bongaree. Two doors up from the Post Office. 0425 477 639.

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