Have you ever left a restaurant or café disappointed after not quite finding what you were looking for? Well now is your chance to change that.
Peter and Cherie Hayes, new owners of Stellarossa Narangba, are asking for locals to help shape the future of the popular café.
“We can offer pretty much anything people want, but we need the feedback,” Peter said. “At the moment we’re just guessing and going by what we would like as customers, but we’d rather cater for what the public wants.
“If someone tells us that a pasta night will be popular for example, or that they’d like more options of a certain food, we can do it.”
Venturing into the industry for the first time, the Bellmere locals said that flexibility was one of the big reasons behind their decision to buy.
“I’ve been in the furniture industry for 20 years and Cherie has been a full-time mum for 15, so we’re looking forward to the challenge of owning a business,” Peter said. “We wanted a change in lifestyle and career path, so thought we’d go out of our comfort zone a bit, and we’ve always preferred eating at a café than a tavern or club, so we saw this as a really good opportunity for us.
“It’s quite different when you’re the one in charge rather than being told what to do, but we like the freedom that affords. With a lot of franchises you have to stick to a set menu which can’t be changed, but Stellarossa gives us the option to offer whatever we like.”
As well as continuing the tradition of live music every Saturday night, the new owners have plenty of ideas for their new venture.
“We’re trying to make it more of a family environment, by offering specials like kids eat free on Thursday nights,” Peter said. “It doesn’t matter if the kids are rowdy or anything, we want families to feel comfortable coming here.
“People are welcome to bring their dogs as well – we like seeing the pleasantly surprised reactions when we take out a bowl of water for dogs without customers asking for it.
“The research we did shows a large portion of Narangba’s population is young families, so we want this to be their go-to destination, not only for a meal but to come and relax.”
With three children aged 15, six and one, the couple say their biggest challenge is dividing themselves between work and family.
“Lately we’ve been getting home and just wanting to do nothing but rest,” Peter said. “We’ve got a strong team though of three chefs and senior baristas who are helping train the juniors, so hopefully soon we won’t have to be at the café all day every day.
“We love being near the water, and when we have more time we’d like to have some weekends up the coast like we used to – particularly Hervey Bay.”
Originally from Sydney, Peter and Cherie have family around Morayfield and the Gold Coast, and themselves have lived in Bellmere for the last eight years.
Peter says they want to get to know as many locals as they can, and welcome people introducing themselves or coming in for a chat.
“The people in Narangba are very friendly, and we can feel the community atmosphere. We love the rural setting as well, and one day would like to call Narangba home.”