Dalby cafe serves up third year of prestigious award nominations
EVEN during a year which has plagued the hospitality industry, a Western Downs cafe has been recognised at a state level for three prestigious awards.
The Urban Paddock in Dalby has been nominated in the Best Breakfast and Best Cafe Dining categories for its stellar efforts over the past 12 months, with their chef Caleb McKinnon also nominated for Queensland Chef of the year.
Opening in January 2017, this will be the third year the cafe has been in the running for the Best Breakfast and Best Cafe Dining awards, with the local business coming third in the country for Cafe Dining in 2019.
Owner Melissa Harms said it had been a tough year during the dining restrictions, but they were able to fight against the tide.
"The community supported us so well, since it was just a shock to the system," she said.
"We had to come up with some out of the box ideas on how we could still trade and follow the COVID-19 safe rules."
The Dalby business moved to selling takeaway food and endeavouring with deliveries, as well as extending their opening hours to include a dinner menu.
"We even created a tuckshop menu for school kids, where parents could order through us, and we delivered to the schools," Ms Harms said.
"It was definitely a bit of a change more than anything with the restrictions."
Mother's Day, which is usually a massive drawcard for the Urban Paddock, was still celebrated in an innovative way by the Western Downs business by creating and delivering picnic and gift baskets to mums in the area.
Even during what was an unprecedented time for Australia, they were able to keep all of their staff during the pandemic, attributing it to the extension of their trading hours.
Now with restrictions being lifted, Mrs Harms has set her sights on some big bookings up until the end of the year.
"We've got lots of Christmas parties coming up, and functions over the next few weekends," she said.
"We're definitely going to be pretty busy until the end of the year."