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What's the First Year in Business Like? Cafe Owner Cassidy Symons

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22 September 2020

It's been a year since Cassidy Symons, with the support of her family, took over Ruby's Cafe in Mana. She describes it as "challenging, and full of highs and lows". We ask Cassidy about her first twelve months in business.

Cassidy, how did you come to own a cafe at such a young age?

Believe it or not, owning Ruby’s is something I have always wanted to do.  I started working weekends and holidays here when I was 14. When I left school, I did step away for about 18 months to try an administrative role, but Ruby’s was always my passion.  When the opportunity came up to purchase the business I was interested right away.

I have an extremely supportive family who have helped make my dream a reality and are supporting me with this venture.

What's been the greatest challenge so far?

Covid has obviously had a major impact on everyone this year and unfortunately this has been the case for Ruby’s.  Each changing level has a new set of requirements, from social distancing to single table service.  We are committed to following the rules, but it's extremely challenging ensuring we have the right mix of staff and service.

What do Ruby's regular keep coming back for? 

The aroma of cappuccinos and flat whites draws our regulars in and they love to pair these with a cheese scone for their morning caffeine fix. Over the last year, we've been working really hard to ensure our coffee taste and presentation is consistently up to Ruby’s high standard

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Ruby’s favourites for brunch include iced coffees, “The Works” filled with lots of ice cream and cream, along with a potato rosti. 

What are you most proud of achieving at the cafe?

I am proud of enhancing our reputation for outstanding coffee and food. My fabulous staff and I have worked hard to create a funky vibe for the café and for it to be family friendly.

We have listened to our customers and introduced a keto range of products. We've already created a winter menu and are in the process of creating a summer menu. 

We have introduced a colouring station for our young clientele. Our school holiday colouring-in competition has been a winner too! Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are extremely important days at Ruby’s and have created a gift basket give away to celebrate our fantastic customers.

Any other plans for Ruby's Cafe? 

I want to continue growing Ruby’s wonderful reputation. My chefs and I are always consulting and experimenting with exciting new dishes.  New items will continue to be added to our evolving seasonal menus.

My big dream for Ruby’s would be to be open at night for dinner and drinks during summer utilising our fabulous courtyard, with a specialised evening menu.

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How's it been working with Emporio?

Emporio’s barista training courses have helped our baristas learn about the intricacies of making the perfect coffee. It's helped my team grow their passion for making great coffee.

Emporio has gone above and beyond for us, especially Simon and Eric.  Whether it's urgent coffee deliveries or our wonderful machine being serviced immediately, this kind of attention to detail enables us to deliver the best possible product to our customers.

Not to mention having the best organic coffee in Wellington so we can make the best coffee in Mana!

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