Mackay miner pursues life-long passion for food
TAKING his passion for food to the next level has always been Ricky Falzon's dream.
After more than a decade in the mining industry, that dream has finally become a reality.
The 34 year old has just purchased Avenue Cafe Mackay and has big plans for the future of the business.
Mr Falzon is of Maltese heritage and intends to inject some of his culture into the cafe.
"My great grandfather immigrated here from Malta and he was a butcher," he said.
"He would make Maltese sausages to make some extra money while he was cutting cane, and that recipe has been passed down through the generations.
"My father David passed away last October, so I'd really like to continue on his legacy and serve those sausages here at the cafe."
Although the majority of the menu will stay the same, Mr Falzon said handmade pastizzis was another new dish he was excited to introduce.
The cheese used in the traditional pastries will be made from scratch.
"When it comes to food, I've been taught by the best," Mr Falzon said.
"My father and grandfather have passed down so many amazing skills and their love of food is really ingrained in me.
"I'm putting that passion into this business."
Mr Falzon is a mechanical fitter by trade and has been working "over the hill" for the past 13 years.
He will now job-share in order to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.
"I've loved my time working at the mines but now it's time to share that love with my passion for food," he said.
"I can't wait to inject my creativity into the cafe, I get a kick out of seeing people enjoy the food I've made."
Mr Falzon said he owed a lot to his fiance Bridie Dodd and his close friends Adrian and Damien Connors, previous owners of Avenue Cafe.
"I've been mates with Adrian since pre-school and I was a waiter for him when he first kicked off NE Food," he said.
"I continue to work closely with those boys.
"My fiance Bridie has been my backbone throughout this whole process. As much as I love mining, I knew I wanted to be home more and focus on my family. This business venture will allow me to do that, so I'm very excited for the future."
Avenue Cafe Mackay is located on Evans Avenue. The cafe will soon begin trading seven days a week.