Owner toasts 10 years
It's been 10 years since Fran Roche bought Blenheim coffee shop The Fix Cafe in Market St, and it has been one of the best decisions she has ever made, she says.
Mrs Roche bought the small business after 15 years working as a cook at Paddy Barry's and Redwood Tavern in Blenheim.
"I was looking for something different and a new challenge. It was hard work in the beginning but I have had a great time," she said.
It was the first business that she had run by herself and being self-employed proved tough going, with Mrs Roche the only employee for the first nine months. A part-time employee was hired and the staff count has steadily increased to four, excluding Fran.
"I have wonderful staff. We have a lot of fun and do silly things but you have to be like that so that you can greet customers with a smile and be able to brighten their day - one of us might be the only person one of them talks to that day," Mrs Roche said.
The cafe had employed part-time and holiday students who learned the trade before going off to university. Teaching youngsters the art of making a great flat white has been something Mrs Roche has enjoyed, she said.
She had to learn fast, having never been taught how to make cafe-quality coffee before she bought the cafe.
A highlight came in 2007 when the cafe won a Classic Hits listeners' poll for best cafe in Blenheim. "I didn't even know it was happening and then the next thing I know the radio station turns up at the shop and tells us we have won - it was a great day," Mrs Roche said.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, which was on Sunday, the staff surprised Mrs Roche by decorating the cafe before work yesterday.
- © Fairfax NZ News