New life for iconic build­ing

The Queensland Times - - NEWS - My­janne Jensen my­

ONE of Ip­swich’s most iconic build­ings has been given new life with the open­ing of a cof­fee house and restau­rant.

Michelle McGuin­ness is the proud new owner of Cof­fee Anda, of­fi­cially opened at the week­end in the old Hal­ley’s Bak­ery build­ing.

Mrs McGuin­ness said it was a dream to open a busi­ness in such a beau­ti­ful and his­toric venue and be­lieved the con­cept behind the cof­fee house was the first of its kind for the area.

Cof­fee Anda is pri­mar­ily a cof­fee house of­fer­ing a se­lec­tion of cakes and cof­fee, but also fea­tures a fully func­tion­ing kitchen where peo­ple can or­der break­fast or lunch at any time of the day.

The restau­rant can seat 70 to 100 peo­ple and has three sep­a­rate din­ing ar­eas.

“We’d been look­ing around Ip­swich for around two years for a suitable lo­ca­tion and when we went in to have a look at the bake­house it just felt right,” Mrs McGuin­ness said.

“We’re open seven days from 6am un­til late and peo­ple have been re­ally ex­cited about that be­cause they’ve said there’s noth­ing re­ally open af­ter 2 or 3pm to have a late meet­ing or af­ter­noon tea and that the only op­tions are fast-food restau­rants.

“We want to be able to give the peo­ple of Ip­swich an­other op­tion and will be of­fer­ing some­thing for the post-school pick up, af­ter work re­lax­ation, the shift worker or even as a place to go af­ter the movies.”

The 101 year-old build­ing has housed a range of busi­nesses through­out the years from the fa­mous Bake­house Steak­house restau­rant, a night club, to the orig­i­nal Hal­ley’s Bak­ery back in the early 1900s.

Mrs McGuin­ness said it was the rich his­tory and unique­ness of the build­ing plus the un­lim­ited po­ten­tial of the venue that even­tu­ally led her to make the de­ci­sion to leave the air force af­ter 20 years of ser­vice.

“I’m in the air force where I’ve worked in per­son­nel but the re­main­der of this year I will tran­si­tion out and this will be the start of the next chap­ter in my life,” Mrs McGuin­ness said.

“I used to work in hos­pi­tal­ity be­fore join­ing the air force and lived in Ip­swich just prior to that, so this just seemed like the right place to start a busi­ness.

“While I won’t be mak­ing the cof­fees or cook­ing the food, run­ning the busi­ness will be my strength as I deal with peo­ple ev­ery day in my cur­rent job, so the only dif­fer­ence is now it will mean man­ag­ing a team plus keep­ing cus­tomers happy.”

The mother of two said she and her staff were only lim­ited by their imag­i­na­tion and looked for­ward to ex­plor­ing what they could put to­gether on the menu.

“In the kitchen we have Tay­lah who is al­most 22 years old and who has been work­ing with us for a few weeks and our head chef Matt is also in the air force and will be join­ing the team shortly,” she said.

“We re­ally want to have ex­cit­ing and new food, so think things like a break­fast cheese­cake, break­fast bur­ri­tos, melts, sal­ads, dessert ta­cos and choco­late fet­tuc­cine.

“We also want to be able to pro­vide healthy op­tions and create food that makes use of the best nu­tri­ents from the food we’re mak­ing, so we’re just lucky that be­cause we’re not a fran­chise, if we want to make up some­thing in the back, we can do that.”

The venue is kid friendly, with a ded­i­cated space in­side and an out­door climb­ing wall. Cof­fee Anda is on the cor­ner of Dar­ling and West Street, Ip­swich.

❝ We re­ally want to have ex­cit­ing and new food.

— Michelle McGuin­ness, Cof­fee­anda


OPEN FOR BUSI­NESS: New Ip­swich cafe and restau­rant Cof­fee Anda opened at the week­end and is very kid-friendly.

Cof­fee Anda Own­ers Michelle McGuin­ness and Corey Adam.

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