So Sue, you are now the new owner of Dorrigo’s Canopy Cafe. What brought you to Dorrigo?
I was actually born in Dorrigo. I left when I was 26. Now 19 years later it was time to come home.
Did you come back specifically to run Dorrigo’s Canopy Café at the Rainforest Centre?
Yes I did. We had been looking for something for about 9 months when we found this café.
Do you think that living and working in the Bellingen Shire has (or will have) an influence on your business?
Definitely. There is such a rich array of locally produced fresh produce in the Shire. This allows us to adhere to the ‘paddock to plate’ ethos.
Can you name some of your local suppliers?
My brother’s farm produces goat’s meat and goat’s cheese up here on the plateau. In fact, wanting to promote his wonderful produce was a major determinate when we were deciding whether to purchase the Canopy Café.
Can we all purchase his fresh produce? Is it sold locally?
Yes it is available at Booma Boers, 22 Railway Street Dorrigo. www.choosegoatmeat.com.au
Did you have any other goals for your new business?
We really just wanted to provide local residents with a new and fabulous option for them and their visitors.
What were you doing before returning to the Bellingen Shire?
I was working in sales.
What sets your business apart from your competitors?
My position is the key. Having a café in the Dorrigo National Park with its truly tranquil atmosphere is unique.
What project are you involved in at the moment?
As the business is so new, I’m completely focused on making it run as seamlessly as possible.
Any new products or services planned for the future?
We have a lot of ideas for the future and moving forward. We are looking at having cheese and wine nights, guest chefs and the list goes on. So stay tuned for updates.
Do you love your work?
I absolutely love my work. I am working with my two loves food and people. I’m also lucky enough to be working in an absolutely beautiful environment. I can’t stop smiling!
Any good lessons or tips on how to run a good business?
Love what you do. Have a clear and precise plan, and keep your staff informed and involved.
How does your business give back to the community?
In the 3 months that I’ve been here I’ve provided vouchers to children’s sporting groups for awards and also to the “Ball for Balls Run” in Dorrigo. I have always been involved in the community as much as possible. I love my sports and encouraging children in sports is very important to me.
What is your favourite spot in the Shire?
There are some absolutely beautiful spots on my parent’s farm in Bostobrick. Besides that, I love walking out on the ‘Skywalk’just next to the café, as everyday is different.
What are your opening hours?
At the moment it is 9-4, seven days a week. But I will keep you informed if this changes.