The Centre for Stories is located in one of the most eclectic and exciting suburbs in Western Australia: Northbridge. Before this little town was ‘Northbridge’, it was ‘North of the Bridge’, or ‘North of the Line’, and before that, it was, and will always be, Wadjuk Noongar land.
We’re always on the hunt for a good story, and what better place to look than in our own neighbourhood. Our awesome intern, Alecia White, spent some time interviewing Danielle from Gather, a specialty coffee house serving wholesome food on Lake Street. What better way to get to know our neighbours!
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Danielle and I work at this café, currently called Little Bird, we’re going to be changing it soon to a place called Gather. I like crafts and dogs—that’s pretty much all there is to me.
Could you explain why you’re changing the name to Gather?
It’s the same owners, with different management coming in. We’re just trying to reach out to a fresh sort of market of people and a different demographic—just trying to freshen up the vibe here and trying to get some more customers attracted to somewhere that they may not have heard of before.
Tell us about the café, what’s so great about working here?
The team that we have is really amazing, we’re such a family. In the last month, we’ve had probably seven new staff arrive. The way that everybody’s clicked together has just been so amazing because everyone’s from different backgrounds, different experience levels, and different passions. So to see that everyone has just really clicked, is just above everything—it’s the greatest part—aside from the actual work. The day-to-day thing is, it’s just the environment that we have here, it’s really enjoyable.
Could you tell us what working in hospitality has taught you?
How to be patient and graceful. How to make someone’s day, even if you’re not having the best day. You’ve got to really turn your game face on and step out of whatever you’ve got going on in your mind, or at home. It’s a good outlet, to come to work. With hospitality, it’s a really fast pace so you’ve got to really just focus on your work and give your full attention to everything. Just meeting lots of people is probably a great thing, too.
Northbridge is a pretty eclectic place. What kinds of customers do you get here?
On the weekends we have a different crowd that, you know, drive to come here—so we get a lot of families. We’ve got quite a healthy menu, so we get a lot of people that come after their yoga classes or their gym classes. During the week, we have a lot of locals so that’s business people—a lot of tourists too, actually, in Northbridge. We get quite a lot of demographics coming in.
When you’re not slaying the coffee game, what do you do?
I don’t really have any free time anymore. I wonder what free time feels like. I love riding my bike, me and my husband—he works here too—we like to ride our bikes. We go to lots of different coffee shops and we tend to go to the beach every day we have off. We do lots of things—to kind of regenerate—before we go into work, because it can be pretty exhausting.
What is it like working with your husband?
We’ve never done it before. We know that we both have the same kind of passion for the industry, which is really rare. So, it’s good that we’re friends and we have the same vision with where we want the business to go and how we want people to feel when they come in. It’s good to have the same motive and we can share that with everyone, but sometimes it’s difficult. Probably one of the hardest things is, I just want to cuddle him all the time! People don’t know we’re married, so they think that we’re just flirting behind the counter. So it’s pretty funny, but it has really strengthened the team, I think. Like, they don’t just have one person to go to—we’re both here—we both have different qualities, that I think together as a management team, we really cover bases instead of it being just one person’s vision, so its good.
This interview was collected in December 2018 by Year 10 intern, Alecia White.