New busi­ness rides hic­cup

New busi­ness owner takes to so­cial me­dia with pos­i­tive out­come

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By WILL MUR­RAY

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.

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