New business rides hiccup
New business owner takes to social media with positive outcome
WITH coffee, doughnuts and muffins bought in readiness for her first day of trading the following morning, Lisa Mooney, owner of The Coffee Bird van, thought a call requesting her to come in and speak with council staff was just to go over a few final details.
However, Lisa was told that her licence to operate near the Travellers Rest on Kirkland Avenue, Euroa, which had been granted to her four weeks earlier, had been suddenly revoked.
Lisa was left with a full day’s worth of stock, but nowhere to set up her refurbished coffee-van.
“It was a real shock,” Ms Mooney said.
“I had everything sorted, all the registrations and inspections done, and passed all the regulations, and I was excited and ready to go.
“But the council called me in at 2.30pm on Thursday and told me that they were now concerned with traffic around the rest stop area.
“So I offered to move further away, but they weren’t interested.”
A statement from the Shire of Strathbogie said that Ms Mooney’s permit application ‘did not meet the required conditions pertaining to the permit’.
“Issues surrounding this permit included traffic concerns, noise issues and significant safety hazards.
“Council has met with the applicant directly to resolve this matter.”
The shire did not explain why it took them until the day before the permit came into effect before reaching this decision.
Thankfully for Ms Mooney, her afternoon was about to take a more positive turn.
After taking to social media to vent her frustration at the council’s last-minute change of heart - which produced a strong response from the community in support for The Coffee Bird - she was approached by local business owner Fiona Nation, who offered for her to set up her van out the front of her Pilates studio in Kirkland Avenue.
“I want to say how grateful I am to Fiona, who I didn’t even know before she approached me, for allowing me to set up here,” Lisa said.
“Without it I’m not sure where I would’ve gone.”
With the word having passed around the town about Ms Mooney’s plight, the community rallied behind the business, and the van was inundated with customers.
“I had people coming an hour before I opened to grab a doughnut,” Ms Mooney said.
“The fact that so many people had heard about what happened and came along to support has been great. I completely sold out of doughnuts and muffins very quickly.
“I guess a positive out of a bad situation was all the attention it received on Facebook.”
The permit originally enabled The Coffee Bird to trade for a year, and so the question remains as to where Ms Mooney will go next.
“The whole idea behind the van was to go somewhere away from the rest of the businesses in town and maybe sell to some of the people who would otherwise just stop at the travellers rest and continue on driving.
“That was our point of difference.
“I’m not sure what will happen now. I am able to trade on private property and people can hire the van, but it’s really left me with a lot of questions over what I’ll do in the future.”
Ms Mooney said she would like to thank all those who offered their support for her business.
“Thanks to all those who came down to grab a coffee and a doughnut, and a huge thankyou to the other local businesses in town, without them I wouldn’t have been able to operate at all, and they have been so supportive.”
A CHANGE OF HEART: After approving Lisa Mooney’s permit to trade near the Travellers Rest in Euroa four weeks earlier, council suddenly revoked that permit the day before her coffee and doughnut van was set to open. Thankfully, with community support, Ms Mooney and her Coffee Bird van were open for business on Friday.