Waves café in Avoca Beach has not only kept afloat but thrived during lockdown.
Co-owners Jay Gilchrist and Kimberly Bridgefoot attribute this to an ability to adapt, as well as support from the local community.
“We’ve stayed on top of offering great and consistent coffee and food, and changed the menu to better suit a takeaway theme, with less of a sit-down focus,” Jay says.
“Kimberly Bridgefoot has been a big part of the community for a long time, so people want to come in to support her and support us.”
Waves has changed hands and names several times over its decade in business, with locals Jay and Kimberly partnering to take the reins in February. Using their years of experience in hospitality and with the town, Kimberley says they quickly figured out how to make the café appeal to a wide clientele.
“It’s clean, fresh, somewhat contemporary, and has a good vibe. That’s what people want in a beachside café,” she says. “They want to walk into a bright and nice venue with fresh food and good service. It’s inviting, so they want to come in and want to come back.”
The coffee is another big drawcard. Waves serves the Caramba blend from Danes Specialty Coffee. Jay says the blend is a good match for the various tastes of Avoca Beach.
“People love the blend, so we don’t feel the need to change that,” he says. “They know they can come in and that it’s top notch and consistent.”
Waves’ offering has cast a wide net, with its customers ranging from young families to tradies and the older residents of Avoca Beach. Lately, Waves has highlighted the healthier options on its menu to keep foot traffic moving.
“All people can do to leave the house and be outdoors is exercise. So they’re trying to be healthy, and we’ve got pre-made salads and that kind of thing ready to go,” Kimberley says.
“There’s not a long of wait time either. Instead, customers can walk in, grab something from the fridge and go.”
Jay says he’s thankful to the citizens of Avoca Beach for their continued support during tough times.
“Being community operated makes all the difference,” he says. “The people of Avoca are there for each other.”
181 Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach, New South Wales
Open Monday to Friday 6am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 6am until close
(02) 4382 1882