Within just a few short hours everything this family had worked so hard to build had melted away. The business was ruined by the fire. The fire department immediately described it as needing to be gutted.
The costs due to the fire damage together with the loss of income from the business mount into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The insurance shortfall is considerable.
These funds are needed to meet ongoing business payments and living expenses.
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Read Tammi's story and see the photos below.
In October last year Tammi, her husband Aaron and their 2 yo son Eli stepped out into the world of food and opened their own café and cake business called Garnished Kitchen, on Cambridge Street Wembley. They put everything they had into it. Physically, financially and emotionally.
Her love affair with food begain with baking at home with her Mum. After a trip to Europe she was mesmerised by the little artworks in the windows of patisseries they came across as they travelled. She quickly started jotting down ideas for her own pastries and shop in a little note book. Her husband became her biggest supporter.
After this trip to Europe, Tammi left her career in Graphic Design behind and pursued work as a pastry chef.
She worked for a renown local catering company called Heyder and Shears where she honed her skills. On the side she built a cake decorating business with a thriving and enthusiastic customer base. The cake decorating was her creative outlet while training and she uncovered a world of hand painting desserts and found herself able to combine her two greatest loves into one artistic expression.
But the cakes were never the end game and she knew she could apply her creative flair and passion for food and hospitality into something more.
When the opportunity to open a cake shop in Wembley came across their path last year the couple were confident in its potential and keen to get in there so they opened with a very simple but beautiful take away cake and coffee shop.
After only a few months of running the take away business they realised that their dream was not being fulfilled and they really wanted to offer customers an experience that everyone could share in. Tammi and Aaron believe that food is at the centre of all of life’s best moments and it really does have the power to bring joy to people’s life. The smiles on people’s faces when they see or taste the dishes is what it’s all about. They immediately got working on plans and designs for a renovation to transform the space into a warm and inviting dine in café.
It was a big stretch for the family financially and they admit it was a little scary. They knew they had something really special to offer the community and their followers so they got started and at the end of May 2017 they re-opened Garnished. The café is an expression of who the family is and even an extension of their home. They love welcoming people into the space, seeing them enjoy it, take selfies with the mural wall which was hand painted by Tammi, and enjoy the food. Their daily mission is to brighten someone’s day by providing excellent service, delicious and beautiful food or even just a friendly conversation.Aaron and Tammi received a wonderful response to their launch and were proud of what they had created but that excitement was short lived when water corp closed down the street outside to updgrade the pipes in early June.
With the works taking place directly in front of the cafe, the on street parking removed, road blocks and detours in the area, the impact on the business was sure to be felt but they didn’t know just how tight it would get. After three months of the works and the financial stress caused by it, they almost lost their dream. People stopped coming to the area because it was just too difficult. Local regulars just couldn’t even access the store in the mornings for their coffee so trade completely went away. The whole street was affected and the other business's were suffering as well. It was a difficult time.
Focused on the potential of the cafe, the couple stuck at it and just scraped by thanks to the financial support Aarons income was able to provide. With both Aaron and Tammi working really long hours and money pouring out it was exceptionally difficult to balance, especially while caring for their two-year-old son Eli. They worked hard on preparing as much as possible for when the roadworks were gone, even designing a new breakfast and lunch menu.The end of the roadworks was such a celebration and although it took a little bit for people to return to the area they definitely did and the response to the new menu was excellent.
People were finally taking notice of what Garnished was doing and everyone in the community was starting to get behind it. Things were finally turning around and that exposure accelerated when they launched Unicorn Poop french toast. People were so excited by this dish and it was incredible to see. Tammi’s favourite moments to date was when a little girl came into the café dressed like a unicorn to have the unicorn poo French toast for her birthday. The excitement and joy the plate brought to this little girl made all the hard work so worth it. Even seeing grown men come in and ask for unicorn poo, the garnished staff had many giggles as the orders for poo piled up. On the weekend they had ques out the door and it finally felt like the hard times were behind them.
Busy preparing for another week of unicorn poo, Tammi was visiting a Perth coffee shop getting some inspiration for her new programme and unwinding after the crazy weekend. She never could have imagined or prepared for what was about to happen.
That phone call shattered the families world in minutes. “It’s hard to comprehend that moment when you see everything you have worked so hard to create, an expression of you, all your creativity burnt away in just a few short hours. “
Although insured, the family admit there would be a large gap between what would be covered by the insurance and the expenses involved in getting the business back up and running. Not to mention the immediate bills piling up and the ongoing expenses.
But they are as committed now to the world of food as they were at the beginning. Albeit with a few significant and unexpected challenges thrown at them.
Please help Tammi's family by donating to their cause.
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