WATCH: New Chattin Café give Goondoon St a caffeine hit
GOONDOON Street's Chattin Café is in new hands.
New owners, Gladstone couple Tim Hancock and fiancé Megan Bale, took over on Saturday and say they have big plans for renovations that include an overhaul of the interior and expanding the outside dining area.
While Mr Hancock stressed their "ideas aren't set in stone", they have already begun doing up possible plans about what the café might look like.
He said he is also looking at the possibility of moving into evening dining on weekends.
But first, they want to get the food and coffee right. One of the first steps the couple took as the new owners was contacting the supplier for training and getting the machines brewing smooth coffee. "The previous owners have run a pretty tight ship, so there's big shoes to fill to make sure that we keep that quality where it has been, so that's the top priority to keep it there," he said.
"Once we've got the hang of that and all of us are up to speed, then we'll see what we can do to add our personal touch to the place."
Part of that has already come in the coffee though. Mr Hancock, who claims to drink his coffee "like an Italian" (strong with not much milk), has brought in personalised coffee that customers can't buy anywhere else in the region.
For Ms Bale, a teacher, and Mr Hancock, an electrician, it was the idea of turning up to work at a job they enjoy that led to the investment, Mr Hancock says.
"We kept our eye out for businesses that would potentially suit the bill … and this was the first one that came up that piqued our interest."
He and his partner are Gladstone born and raised and their baby girl Olivia just celebrated her first birthday on Sunday, the day after handover. The couple both have early memories at the Chattin; Mr Hancock from when he was six, his dad's law firm was part of where the café is now.
But he insists emotion has been kept out of the decision to invest in Goondoon St, confident in their business decision. The couple are hoping their plans can inject some new energy into Goondoon St. "We are trying to contribute to Gladstone to get it where it was before all the gas all started," he said.