COME ON IN: Pop In Cafe owner Deb Slade (left) with staff Mareea Rogers and Gwenda Allsworth (right).
COME ON IN: Pop In Cafe owner Deb Slade (left) with staff Mareea Rogers and Gwenda Allsworth (right). Boni Holmes

Unexpected dream becomes reality

DEB Slade and her daughter popped into Maryborough on their way to Hervey Bay to look at buying a cafe. Today, Deb is living an unexpected dream in her favourite city.

The Pop In Cafe owner not only answered the call of the hospitality industry but the name of her new purchase resonated with her favourite childhood story - Mary Poppins.

After 28 years working for the community, Deb and her daughter moved to the Heritage City last year.

In order to establish her own identity she decided to move the cafe to its new Kent St address.

"I wanted to put my own stamp on it and let people know we are here and want to promote Mary Poppins and where she originated from," Deb said.

"Also to move to a bigger premises where people can dine inside with air-conditioning."

There will be a few changes to the menu due to being able to cook a lot more food.

"We will be having home made hamburgers and chips, chicken schnitzel and salad, chips and gravy," Deb said.

"Everything is home made on the premises.

"We will have hearty meals like lasagne, cannelloni, quiche as well as a variety of salads.

"We also cater for gluten free, dairy intolerant and vegetarian customers.

"We make all our own slices and cakes in house.

"I am just lucky to have some great staff who are better cooks than me - coming from backgrounds including Italian.

"We will be taking bookings for high teas with fine china."

Another big change will be the hours - Pop In will be open from 4.30am to cater for hungry tradies and shift workers.

The Pop In Cafe will also offer Dimattina Coffee and their popular fresh juices.

Deb had always been a huge lover of Mary Poppins and is still a little awed by owning a business which shares the famous name.

"I want to see the people of Maryborough embrace the character, the author, the history and the stories," she said.

"I also got behind the push to let the rest of the world know who Mary Poppins is and where she came from.

"I want to share with locals and visitors alike about her story."

The owner said her staff have been invaluable.

"I am inviting everyone to come into our shop - our shop includes my staff. I have the most beautiful staff - it makes me emotional to know they love to come into work."

FAST FACTS

Pop In Cafe, 8/371 Kent St, Maryborough opens Monday to Friday from 4.30am-4.30pm and on weekends open from 7am-4.30pm.