The old devonshire tea house that once sat on the top of the Cardwell Range has now been revamped under the watchful eyes of the new owners who are primed to capitalise off the iconic view and invest back into the region.
Like many travellers, the new owners of Vista Hinchinbrook, Patricia and Ian Belcher who purchased the business in January, fell in love with Cardwell’s sweeping views when they first visited the area two decades ago.
“We knew it was popular when the tea house was operating in the early 2000’s, but the response has been so positive from across North Queensland since we announced we would be re-opening and modernising it into a cafe,” explains Trish.
“The hospitality sector is new territory for us, however, we’ve been running different businesses in Australia for 30 years and saw this as a great opportunity to bring back such an iconic and social location.”
The cafe saw a surge in local customers when it opened its doors to the public in August, and the couple are now penetrating new markets after diversifying the business to include a bed and breakfast service.
“From a business perspective, we didn’t want to offer just one thing,” continues Trish.
“In addition to the cafe, we have now created two luxury and modern cabins as part of our bed and breakfast service and look forward to seeing that side of the business grow especially since many people are now holidaying locally.”
Trish says supporting the economic growth of the community and building relationships with local food producers is incredibly important for them personally and for the success and longevity of Vista Hinchinbrook. This strong business acumen has meant the couple are able to trace the origins of everything in their shop back to local suppliers in the region.
“Through bringing the cafe back, it has not only created exciting new opportunities for us as business owners, but also for the entire region,” she says.
“Everything from our milk to our coffee to our baked goods are from the surrounding areas of Townsville, Ingham and the Tablelands, which was really important to us when opening.
“We are wanting to strengthen the community by investing close to home, buying local and showing our support for businesses in the region.”
By Georgie Desailly.