Find­ing the sweet spot for cof­fee

Waihi Leader - - News -

When Ju­lia Ormsby started her cof­fee-cart busi­ness, Lit­tle Miss Jay, in Athen­ree and Waihi Beach in Novem­ber 2016, lit­tle did she know that within 18 months her mint-green and cream cof­fee-cart would be a well-known land­mark.

She had just com­pleted three years work­ing at Farm Gate Deli at Waihi Beach where she was head barista.

Her boss de­cided to sell that busi­ness so she de­cided to step out on her own.

“I’m pas­sion­ate about good cof­fee so I de­cided to take a leap of faith.

“I was a bit anx­ious but ex­cited at the same time when I started lit­tle Miss Jay in Novem­ber 2016,” she said.

Her leap of faith has been well re­warded.

She first parked her cart next to Waihi Beach Gar­den Cen­tre in Waihi Beach Road. Busi­ness be­gan to trickle in. She was in­vited to bring Lit­tle Miss Jay to some com­mu­nity events. Her first ones were the Waihi Beach Fun Run and the Athen­ree Homestead Christ­mas Fair at the Novem­ber 2016. Peo­ple started talk­ing about her and the cute cart and good cof­fee she made.

Busi­ness took off for Lit­tle Miss Jay through Jan­uary 2017 when she parked out­side Athen­ree Hot Springs and Hol­i­day Park in Athen­ree. Cam­pers and pic­nick­ers kept her busy. Over the next sev­eral months she tried sev­eral other sites around Waihi Beach and Athen­ree un­til, with the en­cour­age­ment of a num­ber of her friends, she started in her present po­si­tion at the in­ter­sec­tion of Athen­ree Road and Steele Road in Au­gust 2017.

Pow­erCo gave her an elec­tric­ity con­nec­tion In De­cem­ber 2017 which meant she didn’t have to run the gen­er­a­tor from the back of her ute.

Lit­tle Miss Jay has be­come a com­mu­nity land­mark, with her days start­ing at 7.30am with the com­muters and later, trades­peo­ple.

A bit later it is the lo­cals who pop up for their caf­feine fix. And so it con­tin­ues un­til about 2pm when Ju­lia puts Lit­tle Miss Jay to bed and heads home. Nearby res­i­dent Chris Bed­ford said he has seen a range of lo­cals stop­ping for their cof­fee fix.

“I stopped one morn­ing to chat with peo­ple who were buy­ing cof­fee. Jade of Athen­ree, a teacher at Katikati Col­lege stops most days said to me that the cof­fee is ex­cel­lent and Ju­lia set her up for the day.”

Worker Chris Gled­hill said he likes the con­ve­nience of the cart.

“It’s on the way, and the cof­fee is great.”

Ju­lia says she is ful­filled in her job, meet­ing peo­ple from all walks of life and lis­ten­ing to their sto­ries, mak­ing cof­fee and be­ing a meet­ing place in the com­mu­nity.

“When I started here I was do­ing 30 to 40 cups, now it is well over 50 on most days,” she says but mid-sum­mer she peaked at over 100 on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. “I was flat out on those days.” After at­tend­ing Waihi’s Fire­works Dis­play last week, she is tak­ing off next month to visit her sis­ter and fam­ily in Malaysia for two week.

Re­flect­ing on her first 18 months, Ju­lia says it has not been easy but she has found her ‘sweet spot’.

“It has been a lot of trial and er­ror but that’s all part of the jour­ney. I can hon­estly say I think I’ve found the right spot and it’s all worth it.”

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