Alstonville cafe to be 'transformed' under new owners
MOST people fresh out of Year 12 are contemplating a job, trade or university.
Choosing to take the road less travelled, born and bred Alstonville girl Jakirra Graham bought her own cafe.
The 18-year-old former Trinity Catholic College student is the new owner and manager of The Crossing in Alstonville, formerly known as Savannah Coffee Lounge.
The decision to take over the cafe was made virtually overnight after the previous owner made the sudden decision to sell.
Ms Graham jumped at the opportunity.
She had been working at the cafe for four months and "decided to buy it because I wanted to keep everybody in a job here".
"It's a good learning experience too."
The cafe's team are chef Zen, and baristas Dylan and Sean.
"We work really well together, we all have each other's back," Ms Graham said.
Located next door to the Federal Hotel, the cafe will undergo a top to bottom makeover next month under Ms Graham's plan to set her own imprint on the space.
"I want to change everything style-wise, make it my own," she said.
Ms Graham said regular customers had congratulated her on the purchase, saying they "can't wait" to see what she does with the place.
Asked what prompted her to jump into such a big responsibility, Ms Graham said she relished the challenge.
She also has a deep connection to Alstonville, having grown up there.
Ms Graham happens to be a 2nd Dan karate black belt, having learned her skills at Lismore's Success Martial Arts studio. She competes regularly at Australian Karate Federation events.
She said some of the values of karate, such as confidence, humility, perseverance, and an "indomitable spirit" could be assets in running a business.
Features of the cafe's menu include its "pumpkin smash" for breakfast and range of sandwich melts for lunch, as well as all the classics.
It also serves Botero coffee with a La Marzocco espresso machine.
The cafe will be open until the week of February 11 to February 17, when it will close for renovations.