5 new ventures on doing business in Gladstone

WITH reports that almost 300 CQ businesses are predicted to fail this year, reporter Campbell Gellie speaks with 5 new businesses to see how they're faring.

1. Say Espresso Bar

SAY Espresso Bar is known for its good coffee, breakfast and lunch --- but it will soon be offering meals for dinner.

The cafe in Tannum Sands has been open for almost 11 months and has quickly become a favourite for brunchers.

Paul Braven

Owner Brett McGuiness said business has been "exceptional" since opening. "We've had a consistent flow of customers," he said. "There are a lot of businesses struggling but we shouldn't because people still drink coffee, eat and have a social aspect to their life."

"What we do we do it well, we have good coffee and good food," he said.

"The majority of our customers are coming from Gladstone. We've been referred to by the Gladstone travel people because they know a lot of love comes in the meals."

And for the evening plan? "We will have select wines that you can't find at the bottle shops," he said. "We will have share plates and offer something different."

But with Brett and his family working at Say he said he would have to manage his time.

"I'm there seven days a week," he said. "We've lived here for 14 years and said we would do it ourselves."

For the evenings though Brett has decided to employ a chef. "We want someone who is good and who wants to own it," he said. "People have told us it is something they want and we have to make sure we continue to deliver."

Date claimer: Say celebrates its first birthday on April 27. It will be giving out free coffees to its customers on April 30.

"We will have two Queensland state champion baristas come and make coffees and have some latte art," he said. "Its about embracing the community and in turn the community will embrace you."


2. RE/MAX Energy


Ros opened RE/MAX Energy in October and it has been going "extremely well" she says.

"The real estate market is very challenging but I believe I have the runs on the board to be able to get through this correction period," she said.

"I have full faith in the Gladstone region because it's an exceptional place for families to live."

She said she has been overwhelmed by the support from new and old clients.

"We have a lot of positive things in the area that will get a bit of traction now with tourism, as well as affordability returning," she said.

"But we're very busy with about 15 open homes this weekend."

I have full faith in the Gladstone region because it's an exceptional place for families to live.

3. Shoe Luxe

Campbell Gellie

The shoe store with handbags and belts started "exceptionally well"; offering women something hard to find in Gladstone.

"Ladies are definitely after quality leather shoes and that's what we have been getting in," owner Lyn Sanderson said.

"They know which particular brands they like."


4. Crossfit Escape

Opened in Gladstone on November 15 and has been hitting its targets ever since.

Owner Matt D'Arcy said they are above their projected members figures.

"We started off with plenty of members and then things went a little quiet around Christmas," he said.

"But after New Year's it really picked up and we are still getting new people in and people doing three day trials."

"We don't have a big emphasis on competitions," he said.

"People can put their names on the board and compete, or they can just choose to come and train. We also relax and especially on Friday we have people just hang around and chill here."

5. Lightbox

Open on Goondoon St since August 2014 and is not going anywhere any time soon.

Owners Peter Hawkins and Benito Zussino are both Gladstone locals and are happy with how their business is going.

"Obviously Gladstone is in a difficult time at the moment, but we're happy with how sales are going," Benito said. "All the feedback I have been getting has been good. Obviously day to day things go wrong but we hear from out regulars they are happy and like coming here."

He said customers liked Lightbox's point of difference.

"We knew of some key areas that weren't being met in Gladstone and it was important for us to meet them," he said. "We're also in the premier spot in Gladstone and will be for a long time."

Paul Braven

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