AIRBORN: Hanneke and Dean Sweeney have taken over The Black Cockatoo Cafe at Tin Can Bay.
AIRBORN: Hanneke and Dean Sweeney have taken over The Black Cockatoo Cafe at Tin Can Bay. Contributed

The Black Cockatoo cafe is back in flight

POPULAR sentiment says anything can be bought online, and for Hanneke and Dean Sweeney anything turned out to be a cafe and restaurant.

"We'd been looking for a business to take on for a little while, and we found it on Gumtree.”

The new owners of The Black Cockatoo Cafe in Tin Can Bay said it did not take long for them to realise it was the one they wanted.

"It looked interesting, we came down to have a look (from Cairns)...we liked the ambience in the restaurant,” Mrs Sweeney said.

"It's our first business that we've owned, so it felt like a good opportunity for first time business operators.”

With three children aged from six to 13, she said Tin Can Bay has shaped as a wonderful place to raise them.

"We thought living in a quiet place like Tin Can Bay would be good for the family.

Having tried making their own go of it in Cairns with a wholesale coffee shop, the difference in lifestyle has been remarkable.

"We didn't really like city life for our kids and ourselves, and the heat as well.”

Growing up in the Netherlands, Mrs Sweeney said she met Dean when he travelled to the country for work, and the decision to leave for Australia was made after they'd started a family.

"When I met him he was a chef in Holland.

"When our first child was almost two we decided to move to Australia.”

Mrs Sweeney said it had been a bit challenging adapting to another culture, but ultimately found she enjoyed making the move.

"Leaving a lot of family and friends behind you do miss them, but I definitely feel at home in Australia.”

Dabbling in both catering and social and community work in her life, she said owning their own business had a unique attraction for them.

"The creativity of having your own business appeals to both of us,” she said.

"It's been a big learning curve, still some things to get our heads around.

"But also exciting and challenging.”

In fact, they had been so busy with the Black Cockatoo the region was still quite unknown to them.

"We haven't had very much time to explore yet,” she said.