Finding the sweet spot for coffee
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.”