LOVE will find a way, they say, and that’s what’s behind Lucy May Mertens’ decision to put her iconic Korumburra café on the market.
However, if you’re one of her regular customers, don’t panic.
Lucy May isn’t in a hurry to leave.
In fact, the café was a hive of activity last Friday with groups of people or couples meeting for lunch, others having a meeting over coffee and cake and also with Lucy meeting some of her
Korumburra Business Association friends to make progress on their ‘coffee cup advertising’ initiative, the next KBA event and one of a number of other things they have on the agenda.
“I guess people will have their own ideas about why I am leaving but it’s all really about a boy.
“My boyfriend lives up at Eildon and a one-day-a-week romance isn’t enough.
“He’s got a good job up there and is really going places so, I’ve been here for four years now and it’s time to move on.
The business will be sold by an ‘Expressions of Interest’ process, opening now (see advert this issue) and closing on July 30.
“We’ll just ask those interested to sign a confidentiality clause and then all the books, the Section 32 and all the rest will be open to them,” said Lucy.
And the new owners will be taking the business over at the top of its game, with handy profit figures, the interior renovated and styled for a bright future and all the fittings and equipment in excellent order.
“We’re aware it could take a while to find the right person but I’m still loving it and it will be no chore to stay if it takes a while to sell.”
Lucy May’s Café is the culmination of a comprehensive education in hospitality which started at GippsTAFE in Leongatha, now Federation Training, where Lucy completed Certificates I and II in food handling during her VCE/VET studies.
She worked in several hospitality businesses on Phillip Island, including as an apprentice chef, while completing Cert III in event management and hospitality and then a Diploma in Hospitality.
Taking over and refurbishing the former Green Door Café in Korumburra was the next step and that too has been a learning curve.
Lucy May has documented the whole process, from coffee choice, to cash flow and café recipes… it’s all there.
And for someone who wants to take over but would like to work with Lucy May for a month or two, that can be arranged as well.
“It’s a great lifestyle opportunity for someone but after four years, it’s time for me to move on.
“I completed the Gippsland Leadership Program last year and decided there were other things I’d like to do with things like community engagement and community strengthening.
“I think the business still has plenty of potential to grow and soon Korumburra will be the first commercial centre on the South Gippsland Highway, coming out of Melbourne with the completion of the Koo Wee Rup bypass and we feel that’s going to be good for the cafés in Korumburra.”
So, if you’ve always imagined yourself running a successful café, Lucy May’s could be the opportunity for which you’ve been waiting.