Happy customers eh? Region’s Canadian cafe wins big
VOTED within the top 10% of restaurants worldwide, a local business has received an award recognising their positive reviews and quality service.
Less than 10 minutes away from the main street of Childers, Mollydookers Café and Bar has plenty to boast about after receiving the impressive award from online travel and destination site TripAdvisor.
Known for their unique fusion of Canadian and Australian cuisine, couple Alana and Mike Vandenbrink first opened the doors to their Apple Tree Creek restaurant in 2016.
"I'm a born and bred local who grew up in Apple Tree Creek when it was a lot smaller," Ms Vandenbrink said.
"I went to university and did an exchange program in Canada and my two years here, two years there, maybe just six more months, turned into a decade in Canada and a husband who I brought back to Australia with me."
The pair continued travelling, working in all kinds of restaurants, cafes and farms when they decided to settle back in Alana's hometown and open up their own business.
And while thinking on your feet is normal in the hospitality industry that the couple have worked in for years, they never could have anticipated a year like this.
"This year has been one of the hardest in our business, from dealing with closures and trying to look after our staff, to getting back on our feet again and ensuring that we are exceeding COVID-19 requirements so customers can feel comfortable at Mollys," Ms Vandenbrink said.
"We were shut for just shy of four months and when we reopened, it was very mentally exhausting with all the paperwork we had to fill out and new rules we had to learn, but we're getting there now."
But there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel for the small family-owned business, when they received an email from TripAdvisor confirming they had won the award.
"It's essentially a people's choice award and is done based on the quality of your reviews and it puts us in the top 10% of restaurants worldwide," Ms Vandenbrink said.
"This award and knowing customers are leaving a review because they enjoyed visiting us makes the rollercoaster of 2020 worth it."
Keen to provide customers with an authentic Canadian hospitality experience, the business owner said their focus was giving customers more than just a great meal.
"We treat our customers the way we would want to be treated if we were dining out - good service, chats, laughs, great food and atmosphere," Ms Vandenbrink said.
"Things don't always go to plan in hospitality, so we always make sure we're honest when people come to the door and they really appreciate that honesty.
"It's not just about having lunch with us - we want to make the rest of your day great so we're always happy to tell you where to go and who to see in Childers too - there's something for everyone in Childers."
Serving up authentic favourites like poutine, caesars and Xango, the menu makes customers feel like they're in Canada.
Mollydookers is on the Bruce Highway at Apple Tree Creek and are open Wednesday to Sunday.
For more information, visit their Facebook page by clicking here.