Vanessa's Cottage Cafe owners Vanessa Hendry and Tim
Lockerbie outside their Hampden business. Photo Sally Rae.
Vanessa Hendry and Tim Lockerbie may not have had a day
off since Christmas Day - but you will not find them
The couple, in their 40s, opened their own business,
Vanessa's Cottage Cafe, on State Highway 1 in the coastal
hamlet of Hampden six months ago.
Ms Hendry had previously rented premises and run a cafe for
just over a year, having spent all her working life in the
When a cottage came on the market across the road, they took
the plunge, went into partnership and bought it. It was a
perfect acquisition as they did not want customers to feel
like they were coming into a shop. Rather, they wanted a
homely feel, Mr Lockerbie said.
Mr Lockerbie, a plasterer, did the majority of the work on
the building, converting it into an attractive and
He previously worked for a contractor at Macraes for about
six years, after returning from Australia, and stopped about
a month before Christmas.
While laughing that he kept away from the coffee machine, his
forte was the likes of making pies, breakfasts and fish and
chips and he was also ''maintenance man''.
Ms Hendry acknowledged that launching her own business was a
''Pretty much we put everything on the line,'' she said.
But they were relishing the opportunity of owning both their
own building and business. It was their passion, despite the
long hours, she said.
She believed the biggest challenge in the industry was
getting out of bed early, seven days a week, and still being
there at night, mopping the floors.
But hard work was not something that troubled the couple, who
were thrilled with the growth in their business.
''It's just six months into it. You've got to put your heart
and soul into it,'' Ms Hendry said.
Word had quickly spread, it was a key location being on the
state highway and it was also a popular destination for
Mr Lockerbie attributed its success to the cafe's food, which
he described as ''big, hearty and home-made'', and the
Customers should ''watch this space'' as there were plans in
the pipeline, which included making his own bread and rolls,
particularly during the busy holiday periods.