10 Years ago Proprietors Matt & Tara (Bella) Cope opened a small little cafe called Bellas in Condobolin 2002. 2 years later made the big decision to make the jump to Parkes and opened Bellas Parkes in June 2004 since then we have been grinding away with trial & plenty of error, by learning, growing, teaching and listening every day.
Starting out as an espresso bar our business was built on coffee and the coffee culture began to flourish through the town and surrounding towns it was an instant “addiction”.
Since then there have been many renovations being the very stepping stones to what the business is today a great restaurant that we are so proud of many of our customers have grown with us and helped us on our way. It is with great drive, persistence, passion, determination that Bellas is what it is today we are so proud to be such an important part of the social culture and metro scene that Parkes locals enjoy everyday.
Article from Parkes Shire Council Website
Why did you choose to start your business in Parkes?
“Opportunity and affordability”, Tara says. “We had been running a cafe in Condobolin and were looking for the next challenge and to set up in Parkes was less expensive than Dubbo or Orange – whilst still giving us an opportunity to expand”.
“The costs of overheads were really important to us when we were initially setting up as we were still very young but we were also still learning the business” adds Tara’s husband Matt.
How has it grown and developed
Tara ” In little steps – with a lot of trial and error” , “Especially a lot of error” laughs Matt.
Tara explains, ” We established in Parkes in 2005 with just an espresso bar to test the market, at that stage we had a very small shop front facing the main street which could seat approximately 20 people, towards the end of 2006 we added a kitchen which allowed us to serve breakfast and lunch in a cafe style and we expanded our seating to 30 people, it was very cosy!
Demand continued to grow and in 2009 we took the next step and purchased the property behind us and expanded to cater for up to 70 people in our restaurant and added dinner, we have now added an additional step and have started to open 7 days a week and 6 nights for dinner – business has been going really well which in turn means that we can employ more staff”.
Where are the majority of your customers from?
“We have a wide variety of customers although mostly women”, says Matt. “We seem to cater for different groups – including young people, families who come in for breakfast on the weekends, mothers who pop in for coffee after the school drop off, business people, parents needing a night out without the kids, people who have retired and are travelling through who stop and share stories about their wonderful adventures. We also have regular customers from Dubbo and Orange who pop over for dinner about once a month – we seem to appeal to a wide audience and I think this is part of why we have been successful”.
What’s your favourite part of your work day?
Matt “The morning coffee rush – we probably have over 100 regular customers who come in every morning, to say hi and grab their coffee to help kick start their day”.
Tara “I like the night service as it means that I can be creative with the food”.
What advice would you give to Businesses wanting to set up in Parkes?
Tara “Be in love with the reality of what you want to do and not just the idea, start small and don’t bite off too much to start with. Ensure that you have good supply chains but if you have a good product the Parkes community will support you and are very loyal”.
Matt “The people of Parkes are good people, they are also smart and in some way frugal – they want to see good value for money and customer service – if you can supply this you will receive the patronage”.