ON THE MARKET: Shelly Strange is selling Chillaxing, a cafe at the Gladstone Square.
ON THE MARKET: Shelly Strange is selling Chillaxing, a cafe at the Gladstone Square. Matt Harris

Customers devastated as cafe closes, now up for sale

CUSTOMERS were brought to tears when Shelly Strange told them she had to close her much-loved cafe.

Now she is looking for someone to take over the business.

Ms Strange moved into the space where Paulabettes once operated with her Chillaxing cafe in 2016.

It was a brand new venture for the mother who previously worked at the Curtis Island LNG plants.

However, for personal reasons, she has decided to put the business on the market.

"I think the saddest thing about the cafe being closed is all the regulars we had over the years, now all of a sudden have nowhere to go," Ms Strange said.

"I have only had Chillaxing for three years but we have had customers coming to the spot for more than 10 years.

"A lot of our customers are seniors who come a few times a week as part of their routine to catch up with friends.

"Over the years some of them have lost their husbands or wives, and for a lot of them, catching up with a friend at the cafe was something they really looked forward to."

Ms Strange ran the business herself and employed a handful of staff but struggled being the only income earner in her home.

"It's not that you can't make an income with the business," she said.

"But in my family I am the only one who earns an income and also have children. When you run a business on your own, it's very time consuming.

"The challenge for me was just running it by myself."

Ms Strange said the business was ideal for a couple or two friends.

"I pulled a good wage from the business but if there was a couple that came in (and) took it to the next level, who had more time to do so and wasn't relying on only one income to make it happen, they could pull a very good wage from it," she said.

Ms Strange said that given the business had previously run as a similar cafe, Chillaxing had a strong customer base.

"There is a market there for night time takeaways, and a very strong market for carvery, home-style cooked meals," Ms Strange said.

"I never had to tangle myself in with what other businesses were doing, I didn't have any competition where I was because I offered options you couldn't get anywhere else.

"There are businesses nearby that have vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free type markets but that's not my market.

"What Chillaxing did well was offer something different."

Ms Strange said there was an upfront payment of $37,000 to buy the business.

"Then there is rent and outgoings for $1500 a week, security bond at $250 a week - which I am vendor financing, so it is all returned to the buyer upon the entering of a new lease agreement with centre management after 12 months," she said.

"There is a $6000 payment, one month of rent in advance, which keeps you in advance all year and you won't pay rent in the last month.

"I would love nothing more than to see somebody come in and grow the business I have worked so hard over last three years to build.

"The paperwork is ready to go ... and you can start trading now for the Christmas trade."