Owner of popular CBD cafe explains why she had to close
AUGUST 31 will be a bittersweet day for Lynn Falk.
It will be the last day of trading for her Urban Pantry cafe in Ipswich before relocating to new premises in Greenbank.
Ms Falk took over the eatery two years ago and its nine year stay in the top of town will come to an end at the end of the month.
She said a downturn in foot traffic in the city's CBD had been devastating and she had relied on a strong group of regulars over the past year.
"If we do a comparison to this time last year, trade is probably down to half if not lower," Ms Falk said.
"They've got no reason to come into town anymore.
"I've become really good friends with a lot of my customers. I'm sad to leave them but everybody understands why. You've gotta do what you gotta do.
"People don't want to see you go but they understand why you have to. I'm probably a bit on the lucky side. I'm not physically shutting down and walking away, I'm just relocating. A lot of other businesses wouldn't have that option."
The move to a brand new shop front half an hour away next to a Metro Petroleum service station will give her the chance to work in a bigger space, hire more staff, expand shop hours and add some new takeaway items to the health-concious menu.
A new 40sqm kitchen fitted with three deep fryers and a cold room is a big jump from operating off of two frying pans, a microwave and a toaster.
"We don't do any deep fried foods in here at all," she said.
"Everything we make is made to order. It is a healthier option, even when you think you're being naughty you're actually not.
"We'll still do our normal healthy foods (at the new location) but we'll also do burgers, fish, chips... everything like that."
She expects to get up and running in Greenbank by the middle of September if all goes to plan.
Ms Falk urged the community not to "lose hope" for businesses in the CBD.
"You can walk up the top of town after two in the afternoon and there's no one here," she said.
"There are a heap of businesses up here - don't just forget that they're here."