South Burnett eatery shuts its doors for good during crisis
A WELL-loved Kingaroy eatery has closed it's doors for good, despite originally announcing it would only be a temporarily shutting in light of the coronavirus crisis.
Former owner of Nourish Cafe and Smoothie Bar, Monique De Martin, said the current pandemic was the icing on the cake in her decision to sell the business.
For more than a year, Monique and her team have been serving up vegan delights to the South Burnett community.
However, a number of reasons lead her to put the business on the market.
"With COVID-19, it definitely made it more challenging to operate a business," Ms De Martin.
"My partner, who was helping me run it, left to do other things, so it was a bit hard to run it on my own.
"I was doing 14 hour days and that's no exaggeration.
"I also wanted to transfer the business model over to a gifting system for doing things for free and if people want to donate to the cause, then they can.
"I didn't feel like this cafe was the way to go in starting that because there are so many expenses in running a shop in town, especially a cafe.
Ms De Martin said her business was actually becoming a lot busier in recent months.
"The business was growing, that was the problem," she said.
"Some people would say that's a good problem but I wasn't in it for the money.
"To be able to make enough food for demand, I was having to work long hours.
"I wanted to create and have great relationships with people.
"If I wanted to stay, I knew my customers would support me.
"They had freezers full of food but they would still buy in bulk during the coronavirus.
"Personally, I wanted a new challenge to grow," she said.
"I am excited to create again."
The former cafe owner said she would remain in the hospitality industry and already had a few projects in the pipeline.
"I am working with council on a few ideas," she said.
"Whether they get approved or not, I am hoping to run similar educational projects like we did at the cafe at my home.
"For example growing your own vegetables, making food and veganism to waste and compost systems.
"Customers have already called me up to ask about catering options.
"Plus I want to get the gifting idea up and running."