Help cafe's new owners decide on menu
The new owners of Providence's signature cafe, Forty West, are on a mission to go beyond serving quality food and drink, and ensure the popular venue remains an integral part of the broader Ripley Valley community.
Tanya and William Pattie took ownership of the cafe after moving to the area from far north Queensland, where they both served in law enforcement.
Since retiring from the Queensland Police Service, Ms Pattie was eager to find a new adventure along with her several side businesses, which currently includes cake decorating.
When they came across the opportunity to buy Forty West, it was clear that it would be their next step. Ms Pattie has culinary experience and her husband, while still an active police officer, was once a chef. It was the perfect opportunity to use their unique skills to build a great business.
The Patties have been at the helm for more than six weeks now and made it clear that their intentions were not primarily about building a profitable business, but creating something that gives back to the community in every way, down to the suppliers.
"The vision is to make everything local," Ms Pattie said.
"We have some exceptional local suppliers already, and we're looking to put local craft beer through the taps. We're also visiting local wineries for other opportunities.
"We want to embrace the local community, who will then support us, which will create jobs for everybody."
Inspired by the owners' professional backgrounds, which also includes Ms Pattie's time in the Australian Defence Force, Forty West now provides discounts to all ADF servicemen and women, as well as all members of Queensland emergency services including police, fire and ambulance.
The aim of the discount was not only a courtesy to Pattie's current and former professional colleagues, but to give them all a chance to integrate with the local community in a supportive environment. The influx of new ADF personnel to the RAAF base in Amberley, for example, will now have a new place to enjoy their free time in a welcoming environment.
"I'm very passionate about giving back to my own," Ms Pattie said. "We are supporting the local emergency services and as a result our other customers feel a lot more connected to the people out there who are working to keep the community safe."
Military and emergency services are not the only groups the cafe is supporting. Forty West now has a new recycling initiative, where people can contribute bottles and cans which will then be traded for cash under Queensland's new containers for change scheme.
The money collected will then to go towards the future of sports at Providence.
"We've been collecting recycling with a vision to cash it in to contribute to the local sport, and perhaps help to sponsor a local soccer team," Ms Pattie said.
"By doing this we encourage the locals to also bring their bottles and cans to help us to provide additional sponsorships to the Providence community."
The Patties are still trying to nail Forty West's final menu, but the process has also been community-driven. With several new chefs joining the cafe's crew, there is currently a made-to-order approach which grants customers the freedom to order food the way they like.
Everything is made fresh and on-site, and by allowing their customers to alter the menu the Patties have begun to learn more about what the community prefers and what the final menu should include, from taste preferences to dietary requirements.
"A lot of the time, people come in with dietary requirements," Ms Pattie said.
"We cater to people who are gluten or lactose intolerant, vegetarians and those who have celiac disease, and make sure that the chefs cook with different utensils if we're told in advance.
"We want to cater to everybody - we don't want to make people feel excluded because of a dietary restriction they may have no control over."
Ultimately, the Patties hope that Forty West Cafe will become a larger and more popular haven for the community. They have already engaged with the community on Forty West's Facebook page and have begun to take note of local movement to ensure the cafe is operational when people need it most.
"We're looking to change our operating hours which would cater to early morning shift workers and provide coffee and early morning snacks for people who need something before everything else is open.
"Our overall objective is to provide something that is community friendly. It's not about any particular group or individual, but for all in Providence who are looking for a place that provides food, drink and a sense of belonging."