One of Cairns' longest running cafes has just unveiled a new look.
It is fitting that the week that Sea Breeze Cafe at Cairns Hospital flings open its’ doors again, that one of its longest serving employees celebrates 15 years of employment.
Judy Gamble was a volunteer with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for five years, before taking on paid employment with Sea Breeze Café as a cook.
She has seen many changes throughout Sea Breeze’s many incarnations, including the days when it temporarily operated out of a “donga” on the grass verge during a previous hospital redevelopment.
Sea Breeze Cafe, part of the Foundation's commercial operations, has been an iconic part of Cairns Hospital for 76 years, having previously been known as “the Kiosk”.
The hospital kiosk was first suggested in 1939 and the then hospital board borrowed 200 pounds, offering the job initially to Eddie Svendsen who ran it from a wooden caravan on wheels. It has been part of the Hospital Foundation since 2002.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said Sea Breeze closed for about 12 months as part of the hospital's latest redevelopment, but the new look complemented the great food options and service.
“We've given the grand old girl a refresh and we've increased the dining area to be about 50 percent bigger than before,” Mr Franz said.
“We started our opening hours at 9am-2pm, but we're already finding that customers want us to be open longer than that,” he said.
Sea Breeze Cafe is in addition to the relatively new dcafé which services the hospital's other entry point at Block D, further north along the Esplanade.
The Foundation employs three chefs, one cook as well as other hospitality staff across the two eateries.
While the two cafes have great coffee, freshly made sandwiches and wraps on the menus, they do have different meal options available.
“We're also delighted to celebrate Judy's anniversary – as the longest serving employee of the Foundation and of the cafes, she's a much loved member of our team,” Mr Franz said.
Profits raised from the two cafes go towards supporting health services in Far North Queensland.
For further information, to donate or volunteer for the Foundation visit www.fnqhf.org.au.
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