Damion: The main reason for coming here was Willow … so that she could attend the River School. Before coming here we were in Beechmont (GC hinterland). We were seduced by the view there.
Amy: It had a public school which really didn’t suit Willow. So we did some web searching for schools and discovered that the River School in Maleny was going to be the best one for her. So we just came up here for that really.
Damion: We had just spent six months in Beechmont when Amy said we’re going to move to Maleny. I thought … we have only just moved out to the country (from Brisbane)…
Amy: But we hated it really. It wasn’t the place for us at all. There was no community down there. It was very pretty but that’s about all there was going for it.
Damion: We came up to Maleny on a rainy day, which isn’t the best weather to see the hinterland. But we saw Prabha and felt the energy at the school by going into the classrooms. We could see that they let the children be themselves.
Even that first day here we felt the magic right away. We walk whenever we can because trying to get a park here is hopeless. We meet so many people at the Upfront Club , the Co-Op and IGA. It’s such a beautiful place. There are so many factors here. When we go to the Co-Op and take things to the counter, they tell us the story of each item … who made it or grew it.
What have you had to change in coming here? Amy: Well nothing really. Setting up the cafe
wasn’t the original part of our plan, but that kind of fell into our laps. We were looking for a commercial kitchen up this way and found this one (previously Truffles restaurant behind Mondo Floral Designs, 34 Coral Street) and we thought, let’s open a cafe… so this is the first cafe we have had together, even though we’ve been preparing and selling our food at different markets.
Damion: When we came to check it out, Terrianne showed us the cafe and although we have only just had Orly, we looked at each other and said, this is it. There’s no time like the present and we felt we were gifted with this space, and through the kindness of Terrianne, she saw the potential in Amy and could see she was ready to flourish here.
The cafe will be called Raw and Peace and will be 100 per cent organic and raw Vegan food. We’ve been supplying food to the markets … Northey Street, which is a certified organic market in the city and Noosa markets. But being here permanently, this will give Amy the chance to show what she can do for a regular clientele. We’re also planning to have picnics out the back in summer to take advantage of the garden.
We very much want to support locals and their products like Alexina’s Obi Obi olive oil and her teas.
So, it will be about showcasing local produce and supporting what the Co-Op does too in attracting local growers.
We want to be a destination cafe for anyone that might want to come. We hope our reputation builds so that we fulfill community needs but also
people who come up here on day trips. We will start with breakfasts and lunches and then think about doing something in the evening.
There is also change for me in coming here because my initial plan of attack was to teach my Kahuna body work, yoga and meditation. But now that we’ve decided to open the cafe I will be stepping into the more male role of supporting Amy … daddy day care! Aloha Yoga was the name of my business, and for this year anyway, it will take a back seat. It’s just realising that Raw and Peace is such a great opportunity and
Amy’s time is definitely now. Amy: Another thing we’re going to do here too is run a cinema in the cafe so that you can have a raw Vegan dinner and then we will show a food conscious film. Damion: Yes, so people can actually come and watch a movie, build up their appetite and then have something related to that movie that night.
What would keep you here?
Amy: Everything that we have already mentioned … definitely the River School where I want Willow to do her schooling and where I would love Orly to go. Now that we have the cafe it is a commitment, so we will be here for the foreseeable future.
Damion: Yes, we reluctantly signed up for an EFTPOS which was a three year commitment. In the short time that we’ve been here and before Orly came along, we were dreaming and scheming … like we might travel and spend six months in Bali or Asia or the UK. But Maleny’s got everything and the hinterland generally is where we want to be.
So, why would we need to travel?