OWNERS RETIRING: City Cafe Takeaway owner Irene Williams is looking forward to retirement and has recently put her Mary Street cafe on the market.
OWNERS RETIRING: City Cafe Takeaway owner Irene Williams is looking forward to retirement and has recently put her Mary Street cafe on the market. Troy Jegers

Retirement beckons for popular Gympie business owners

"IT'S time for retirement,” says City Cafe and Takeaway owner Irene Williams with a smile, while making a coffee for a customer.

After 20 years of owning the popular Mary Street business, Mrs Williams said she is looking forward to doing a bit of travelling with her husband Bryan.

"We're both old and we need to retire. We've been in hospitality all of our life and we've loved every minute of it,” she said.

"It will be hard to say goodbye to our customers but we will still be staying local, we'll still have our beautiful customers and friends in town.”

As a business owner, Mrs Williams said every day is a challenge, but at the same time it was quite rewarding.

"The challenge is to keep your customers and we've managed to do that over the years,” she said.

"I'd love to see this cafe go to somebody local. We've trained 60 local children who studied a certificate III in hospitality in 20 years which is pretty good.

"Some of them have ended up as chefs, town planners, chemists, but they've done that 12 months with us here to get all their customer skills, which is good.”

Mrs Williams said she was concerned to hear of several Gympie businesses closing their doors.

"It's very important to support local businesses. I love Mary Street and I think it's a shame a lot more people don't support Mary Street because it's a fabulous street,” she said.

"A lot of hard working people with businesses here, we all support each other.”

Mrs Williams said she would like to thank her loyal customers for supporting the business for the past 20 years.

"I'd like to thank everyone for their support over the years. We are very fortunate people,” she said.

Don't miss the Gympie region Real Estate guide in tomorrow's Gympie Times.