Exceeding expectations with recent renovations

The Fox Den employees Clair Deen, Melanie Thompson, Bailee Dillon and Tiana Durbidge. Photo Anne Keen
The Fox Den employees Clair Deen, Melanie Thompson, Bailee Dillon and Tiana Durbidge. Photo Anne Keen

A Gloucester cafe has exceeded its expectations, having doubled the projected jobs created after only completing the first stage of an economic development project.

When putting together the proposal to renovate The Fox Den cafe and bistro in the over one hundred year old Avon Valley Inn, it was projected the changes would create two new, long term, full time positions.

The projection was for the jobs to be created after the two stages of the renovations where completed.

Stage one included a complete overhaul of the kitchen, replacing old wiring and old appliances, creating greater storage capacity and switching from electric to gas, which was completed in late September last year.

Stage two involves reconfiguring the cafe to create more seating and a better customer flow by moving the counter to the back of the space instead of having it at the doorway. This is due to be completed by the end of March 2018. 

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Cafe owner, Maree Grady said the two projected positions were filled after the first renovation was completed with an another staff member also starting up recently and one more due to start in this year, doubling the job growth before the project is even completed.

Not only have the changes created new jobs, Maree was able to spend around $60,000 on local trades to have the work completed, as well as increasing her ability to purchase goods locally. 

Most of our fresh vegetables come from a local farm.

Maree Grady

With the new cold storage capabilities, the cafe is able to purchase more fresh produce, meat and seafood from the business in town. 

“Most of our fresh vegetables come from a local farm,” Maree said.

Expansion was a long term plan for the business and thanks to a funding boost from AGL’s Gloucester Independent Community Legacy Fund, Maree was able to get started sooner.

Maree said the ability to update and grow the business is important to the future of the cafe, “to give the business a competitive place in the market and to ensure its longevity,” she said.

And the business is continuing to grow as Maree continues to expand the ability cover more external events. Increasing function bookings means she can provide even more employment.

She also provides staff for functions outside of Gloucester, with staff going to work at music festivals in the Hunter Valley.

She employees around 40 full time and casual staff.