AS the new owner/operators of the Home Hill News & Coffee in Eighth Avenue, Ken and Shay Linton, take over from Shay’s retiring parents, Graham and Delphine Baker, they have been overwhelmed with the support they have received from the community for all sections of the upgraded business.
Fighting against a declining number of newspapers available on their shelves, the young couple made the decision to add another service to their on-site provisions, with coffee and associated quality food now playing a major part in the business name and in what is available to customers.
And their customers – new and old – have been quick to indicate that the new additions were very much needed, as from their first day of operation after a day of training from their suppliers, they have been overwhelmed with coffee lovers – who, in turn, have brought in extra business for other long-standing aspects of the business including the newspapers, stationery, Lotto and giftware– and all other stocks they have carried for many years.
Ken and Shay Linton, along with employee, Louisa Daley, had travelled to Brisbane before the takeover to undertake training in their new services, while an operator from Brisbane and another from Townsville spent a day each in Home Hill helping to set up the business and preparing the staff for what was ahead of them.
Mackenzie Linton also spent time with a Barista in Townsville to undertake training.
“We were told that after 100 coffees, we would be right,” Shay said as the customers continued to roll in supporting their new operations, which commenced officially from Tuesday, October 18, with orders coming in from 5am that morning – Lucky as a newsagency, they have always been early starters.
The business will be open from 5am to 5pm, Monday to Friday; 6am to 12 noon on Saturdays and from 6am to 11am on Sundays.
The support they have received has resulted in an increase in staff, with two new casuals and another former junior staff member, who had left to undertake studies, requesting her position back.
Ken Linton will also add coffee making to his daily work in between his normal cane-farming duties.
Ken and Shay have offered their thanks to everyone who has supported the changes.