Warwick duo named top coffee-shop owners in Australia
PUTTING everything on the line to start one of the leading drive-through coffee shops in Australia was a gamble two Warwick women will never regret.
Seven years ago, mother-daughter duo Tracey Slater and Danielle Cook decided to bring something radically new to the regional town where their family has lived for six generations.
Opening Zaraffas in 2007 was a "huge step" for the town, according to Mrs Cook, who was recently names franchisee of the year along with her mother, Mrs Slater.
"We really put everything on the line ... at that time I don't think the coffee culture had really hit the regional centres."
After taking out the company's most prestigious award for a second time on Tuesday night, Mrs Cook said that was no longer the case.
"Since we started we have seen a huge change in the coffee culture. A lot of people are very well versed in the coffee they want and the terminology around it," she said.
"Winning the award twice now really proves that regional centres have that appreciation for a good coffee."
Fuelled by caffeine and a passion for quality coffee, the mother-daughter duo is a blend of personalities that complement each another.
"She's my best mate," Mrs Cook said. "Mum is very outgoing and she kind of says it how it is. She's very much a people person, whereas I am a bit more reserved, so I like the bookwork and I love making coffees.
"I ground her a little bit, I am a bit quieter."
But the key to getting recognised as the best of all Zaraffas franchisees in Australia was a commitment to the community, Mrs Cook said.
"I think for us it is our rapport with customers and community involvement that is a big thing, whether it is supporting local charities, sporting groups or donating to school raffles."
Zarraffa's Coffee Managing Director, Kenton Campbell, said Mrs Cook and and Mrs Slater's passion for what they do was hard to fault.
"These women have worked hard to build a following through repeatedly great service and a strong staff culture ... the proof is definitely in the coffee," he said.
"It's a great validation of the universal love of coffee. We are looking at widespread expansion in regional New South Wales and Queensland areas and know that people across the country have a love of a well-made beverage."