WELCOMING: Sarah Baldwin, Kayla Plummer and Jacqui McCoach have opened new cafe The Belle General at Shelly Beach Rd.
WELCOMING: Sarah Baldwin, Kayla Plummer and Jacqui McCoach have opened new cafe The Belle General at Shelly Beach Rd. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Family ties for happy cafe

THE NEWLY opened The Belle General is a family affair.

Sisters Sarah Baldwin and Kyla Plummer and their cousin Jacqui McCoach opened the doors of their renovated Ballina cafe and general store yesterday and at 10am it was already buzzing with customers.

After working in hospitality on the Northern Rivers for much of their lives, the women embarked on their new venture because they wanted "a place of their own".

"We'd been in the industry for so long and we thought 'we can do this ourselves'," Ms McCoach said.

She said after working in many different hospitality situations, the biggest thing the trio wanted to do at Belle was create an atmosphere that made coming to work not feel like a chore.

"We want to have a happy and non-chaotic workplace from behind the scenes, because when customers come into a place where staff are happy, they can see it's a nice place to be," Ms McCoach said.

And it wasn't just the atmosphere at Belle that felt good - the food whizzing around the tables looked pretty good, too.

"We have fresh, good-quality produce and we also have cleaner, lighter options available for those who want something healthy," Ms McCoach said.

The Belle General is located at 12 Shelly Beach Rd in Ballina and is open from 7.30am, seven days a week.

They sell breakfast, lunch and takeaway, as well as general store goods. In the future, the ladies hope to stock a signature range of dips, spreads and granola.



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