Owners of Blaze Cafe, Sara and Ivan Oehlert, with their staff at the shop's reopening on Saturday.
Owners of Blaze Cafe, Sara and Ivan Oehlert, with their staff at the shop's reopening on Saturday.

Blaze Cafe bounces back into business

PETER Olivetta at the reopening of Blaze Cafe in Proserpine said he almost needed therapy when the popular eatery shut in the direct wake of Cyclone Debbie.

A no longer grieving, Mr Olivetta, was part of the crowd at the Fresh Fields Shopping Centre who had gathered to welcome back Blaze Cafe.

The cafe has been out of action after water entered the building, the shop has now undergone a complete refit and on Saturday welcomed it first customers in three months.

Owners of the cafe Sara and Ivan Oehlert said the popularity of the reopening was a good start as the business enters the post cyclone era.

"It has been a long road back but we have got there,” Ivan said.

To celebrate the end of the recovery road members of the Whitsunday Rock and Roll group performed 50s style dances at the front of the cafe

In the car park were classic cars supplied by the Whitsunday Automotive and Restoration Club, face painting and music created a real festive mood.

And the hamburger eating competition was a hit with the crowd.

"It was an awesome turn out and so many locals, which is fantastic,” Sara said.

"Some people are saying it was a bigger turn out than when we first opened two and half years ago.

"Then we had a different focus and it was about opening and raising money for charity

"Where as this time I was nervous because...”

"We are the charity,” Ivan said.

At the end of the day Sara and Ivan went out to the main street to look at the new sign hanging above the newsagent and reflected on their first day back in business.

"I am overwhelmed with the support. There was people from Airlie and Cannonvale and all over,” Sara said.

"And it didn't stop, it just kept going and this afternoon we have been flat out with tourists.

"Which is awesome for the town,” Sara said.


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