We had a chat to our client Cathy, a small business owner of The Volt Café in Clyde North with her partner Maki. They are passionate about what they do and the food speaks for itself.
How did you get into hospitality?
We were both born in to hospitality. Both our Dads were chefs and owned cafes, restaurants, pizza and souvlaki shops since we could walk. Every weekend was spent helping out at the family business. At the time, as kids, we would think to ourselves “why do I have to be here again on another weekend?” In actual fact all those Saturdays and Sundays were growing our love and passion for all things hospitality. Maki stayed on in the hospitality industry and I went off and worked in finance at Monash University for 12 years. Two years ago it became completely obvious that neither of us were happy in our jobs and it was time for a change. It was finally time for us to open up our own cafe! Needless to say, our fathers couldn’t have been prouder.
Why the decision to start your own business?
About two years ago I realised that Finance wasn’t for me, and Maki was tired of wasting all his knowledge and experience working at cafes and restaurants for other people. We sat down one night and said to one another that we should really open up our own venture, and what better business to open than a café? Coffee and food are what we love, and what we are so passionate about. We were both knowledgeable and experienced in the industry so it felt like an easy decision! Just like that it all came in to fruition.
What’s the hardest part of being a small business owner?
At times it can be difficult to switch off and pull away from it all. There’s never really a time that we’re not talking about or doing something for the business. Volt is our baby, so we have invested a lot of our time from day one being physically present at the café. The long hours can take its toll at times. The fact that weekends no longer really exist for us is a difficult one too 😉
What’s the best part of being a small business owner?
The joy you feel when you see how happy and satisfied your customers are with the food, coffee and service you provide them. We have so many regulars and have developed some life long friendships with so many people in two years of us being open. Being able to sample all the food at any given time is a pretty big plus too!
A great piece of advice for anyone looking to enter the hospo industry?
If you’re looking at getting into hospitality be prepared for long hard working hours, but know that every minute of that slog is completely worth it when you see the smiles and happy faces of all your customers. Love what you do, and do it passionately, and the success will come.
What’s one of the best lessons you’ve learnt about the financial and accounting side of business ownership?
To get an awesome accountant who introduces you to Xero and makes your life so so so much easier! I’ve also learnt that GST is the bane of my existence… but Jase can deal with it.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Piccolo almond latte for Maki and an espresso for me.
Do yourself a favour and check out Volt Café’s instagram… then pop in for a visit this weekend. #YUM.