Twenty-one-year-old Georgia Stevens has started her first business venture, taking over the Western Plains Cultural Centre cafe.
Ms Stevens renovated and renamed the space “The Gallery”, aiming to create a menu that was “modern with a vintage twist.”
She said her business, which opens on Monday, will tie-in with exhibitions and events at the Cultural Centre.
“One thing we will do is collaborate with touring artists and create a special drink or dish,” she said.
Ms Stevens completed high school in Dubbo at St Johns College before moving to Sydney for a year to attend hospitality school. She has worked for the cafe for three years as a waitress.
When the tender for the previous proprietor came to an end, her application was successful.
“This is my first business, I've worked in a lot of places but nothing like this,” Ms Stevens said.
“As a side thing I love to paint, I love art, and that’s why I was really drawn to doing something here.
“I don’t really look to the city for inspiration, more so I look at Dubbo, I’ve tried to include whole foods, local ingredients and that home made touch.”
She said running her own business was one of her dreams.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own cafe, I love to cook as welll,” Ms Stevens said.
“I do have bigger plans, totally renovating the look inside, making it a bit more trendy, somewhere for people to come and also see the gallery and the museum.
“I do have a good relationship with the previous owner, the man who used to own it, his mum is still working for me, she’s stayed, she’s been here for 10 years.
Ms Stevens said all of the staff had stayed with the business, which will offer a restaurant service and catering.
“There’s 10 of us, all the staff who have all carried on which is great, they pretty much put their jobs on the line to see if I would get it, that’s really good.
“To me it’s about getting the right staff, if you have the right staff, which I do, I’ve had staff come in during the day and not want to be paid, just to help me out, and that’s just made it so much easier.”
The 21-year-old budding businesswoman described herself as coffee-crazy and said she felt starting out in Dubbo was to her advantage.
“I can create things and it will be sort of new.
“If I was to try and do this in Sydney or the Gold Coast, there’s that much competition, if you’ve got something new, everyone else has already done it.
“I think Dubbo is getting a lot of new things anyway, it’s becoming more and more upper market.
Ms Stevens said she hoped to expand the normal business hours of 9-6 on a Friday eventually, to include a tapas night with live music.
“One of the biggest things I do want to draw a younger clientele here, because at the moment, I know a lot of my friends never think to come here.
“If they come to the cafe, they’re more likely to come to the art gallery and museum and events here.”
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