A little more than 21 years ago Digi.Kaf opened it's doors and began what has become somewhat of an institution. We have prided ourselves on serving delicious, fresh, wholesome meals and great coffee.
During these last 2 decades there have been good times and rough, but none rougher than the email I received on the afternoon of June 2nd.
The landlord recently appointed new real estate agents to look after his property, Digi.Kafs' home of 21 years.
They have issued a rent increase notice that is to take effect on August 13th. They believe that we can deal with a massive 70% increase in the weekly rent.
Yes, my mouth dropped open as well. The owner won't talk with me and the agents will only agree to meet me in their offices at Strathfield. I'm not feeling very loved right now.
Obviously an increase of that magnitude would cripple the business. I've sent off our response and am awaiting the reply. To be honest I'm not expecting them to come to the party. I have the horrid feeling they have plans for the building that don't include Digi.Kaf.
It has been a roller-coaster of emotion as the implications filtered through the fog of anguish and fear.
Digi.Kaf employs 3 full-time staff and churns almost half a million dollars straight back in to the local community, the job losses just wouldn't stop here.
Lengthy discussions with my wonderful and enormously supportive team lead us to one simple conclusion.
We have a great product, awesome suppliers and a very loyal group of customers.
We are not ready to go down just yet!
No matter where we are the rents will be tough to manage and if we are to manage them we need to put the cafe in front of as many people as we can.
We are looking to re-locate the cafe to Glebe Point Road. A position has only just become available and is a little over 200m from where we are.
#199 Glebe Point Road. Right in the heart of Glebe, situated alongside the Commonwealth Bank, just down from Galluzzos, between two supermarkets, bus stop and across from the park.
We have had initial discussions with the buildings owner and as a Glebe local she is somewhat sympathetic to our situation.
Ultimately we will end up paying a similar rent, however the huge increase in passing trade would make the task of paying the rent much more achievable.
So that's where we are right now. Waiting on the current real-estate to come back with an answer and negotiating a potential move to Glebe Point Road.
The support, love and sense of community that has been displayed by our customers has buoyed us and increased our determination to carry on and move forward.
If we had known we could have planned for such a move and if we had time we could stage things. However this move is being forced upon us and with very little notice.
We need your help to ensure that we are able to complete nessecary renovations at the new site, purchase new equipment and increased stock and finish off all the required strip out of our current location.
We are asking you guys, our loyal customers, to give us a hand to move to a new location and continue the next chapter in what has been an amazing ride.
Its not a charity, we will be continuing to offer our great food and beverages in a new and larger location and with your support we can continue well into the future.
Objective: Raise money - move locations permanently to Glebe Point Road or risk permanent closure.