Love at first sip, Wisdom Cafe's new owners and direction
NORTH Queenslanders Damien Baker and Lorelle Stanley are in awe of the view from their new cafe opposite the Airlie Lagoon almost as much as they are of each other.
On Hayman Island 15 years ago butcher Damien Baker first laid eyes on Lorelle Stanley, a chef at the time and thought she was a prime cut above the rest.
Since that day the pair have been inseparable.
"As soon as I saw her I thought, what a beautiful girl,” Mr Baker said.
After two years lived on Hayman filled with boating, beach trips and romance, the pair packed up and headed back to the mainland, where they both landed management positions at the Tropic Coast Motel in Mackay.
In 2006 the pair packed up again and put down roots in Rockhampton. "We bought 20 acres and built an eco-friendly home,” Mr Baker said, where they lived in until 2013.
Ms Stanley worked as a jack of all trades and ended up as a head chef at the Gracemere Hotel.
"I wanted to give back something to the community so I studied a cert four in disability services and got a job with the Queensland government,” Mr Baker said.
Soon enough, the couple got itchy feet and set off on an adventure around Australia for a few years before they were drawn back to the blue Whitsunday waters in the wake of Cyclone Debbie in April
Mr Baker landed a job at the Whitsunday Pacific Seafood and Ms Stanley at the local Woolies, but true to their nature the couple "got a little bit itchy” as Mr Baker put it and found a business for sale on Gumtree at 3am in the morning, "as you do all good businesses” he said.
Just like that, Wisdom Cafe was born and the pair are eager to revamp the hidden gem into a community hub that serves "healthy food fast in the perfect brunch spot”.
"We want to offer a little bit of everything and remain flexible,” Ms Stanley said.
"You can basically get us to make anything you want.”
With a diverse clientele, the pair understand the importance of offering something for everyone, but want to bring locals over the hill and can assure people they will be open seven days a week from 7.30am until at least 4pm.
Just like most good days, the refreshed cafe started with coffee, and it was out with the old and in with a new, single origin Cuban bean, Clandestino.
"It's the Greygoose of coffee,” Mr Stanley said.