Would you open a new café in a pandemic?
On April 20th, the day that thousands of Queensland students began online learning from home, Chef and Gympie local Candy Waldock defied conventional wisdom and opened a new café in the regional town.
Support from locals is always crucial to cafes, but surely never more so than when starting afresh in the middle of a lockdown.
The MAX team in Gympie are passionate about supporting local people and local businesses, so when the new café Eat at Candy’s popped up in the height of the pandemic, the team were eager to check it out. In fact, Placement Consultant Elisha Gallaher was one of Candy’s first customers, encouraging her team members to follow suit and try chef Candy’s great food and coffee.
When a month had passed and cafes and restaurants could begin welcoming dine-in customers again, Candy knew exactly where to turn.
“When COVID restrictions started to ease and we needed another person to help wait tables, the MAX team were there to help,” says Ms Waldock.
Elisha provided Candy with several candidates to choose from and suggested that customer Sarah Attard might be right for the role. Candy agreed, impressed by Sarah’s previous experience and personality that shone through during an interview and work trial.
Sarah has now been working for Candy for two months, and Candy says she is very happy with her new recruit. “She has slotted in perfectly, she is part of the family now,” says Ms Waldock.
The MAX team also provided Candy with guidance around government support that would ease the financial burden of hiring a new staff member.
Sarah is enjoying her new role, working 30 hours a week at Candy’s. “It’s a great team environment and they’re lovely to work for,” she says.
When asked about her experience with MAX, Sarah replied, “The MAX team in Gympie have been a great support for me.”
Congratulations to both Candy and Sarah. If you’re passing Gympie, be sure to stop by Eat at Candy’s and say hello.
Image: Eat at Candy's owner and chef, Candy Waldock (L) and new employee, Sarah Attard (R).