Liam Mitchell and Jack Maher keep the beans jumping at Blackjelly Cafe.
Liam Mitchell and Jack Maher keep the beans jumping at Blackjelly Cafe. Renee Albrecht

It's all in the name: family big influence Gympie cafe

CREATIVE inclined, Lenore Franks love for abstract thinking can be seen on her cafe door.

Putting the first initial of her children and grandchildren together and seeing what words it inspired, a preponderance of the letter L drove Blackjelly to the front.

While it has provided her first shop with its name, she said the fact not every letter was yet accounted for may have a side-effect.

"I put it to my boys if you have a child it has to be one of the extra letters,” she said.

Of her creative spark, Mrs Franks said she has never been compelled to portray the obvious.

It was an approach which had been of great benefit when it came to stepping into the business world.

"I'm not really a person who looks at something and draws it,” she said.

"I think in a way when you're trying to get a business off the ground that's what you've got to do.”

Although she was not born in Gympie and had moved around Australia - living not only in Sydney and Brisbane, but also in regional areas like Mackay - there was always something special which kept bringing her back to Gympie.

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"It feels a bit like a home,” Mrs Franks said.

"Whatever happens somewhere else, I know here it will be comfortable.”

Outside of a screen printing business she ran from her home years ago, the James Nash Arcade store is the first retail business venture for Mrs Franks.

However, it is not the first time she or her son Liam Mitchell, who is pitching in to help, have worked in cafes.

Jasmine Van Twest, Bryana Van Twest, Jack Maher and Maxene Grewar are part of the new businesses which have moved into the James Nash Arcade.
Jasmine Van Twest, Bryana Van Twest, Jack Maher and Maxene Grewar are part of the new businesses which have moved into the James Nash Arcade. Renee Albrecht

Asked if what she had enjoyed about being a barista, she said back then it was not really the right term.

"It wasn't really a barista then, we didn't really have coffee machines then,,” she said.

"It was an urn with a spout, that's how you did your cappuccinos.”

Despite a background in gym and labouring, Mr Mitchell said for him it had been like riding a bike.

"Everything's just come back to me,” he said, adding he was happy helping his mum achieve her dreams.

"She's always wanted a cafe.”

While Mrs Franks enjoys the mix of cooking and serving in the work, she was especially fond of the people she met while working.

"You meet a few characters, that's for sure.”

Gympie Times


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