Brett Briggs’ entry into the hospitality scene wasn’t all smooth sailing but he’s found fans with his smiling service, lively menu and specialty coffee.
Briggs and his wife Christie, opened Oikos Cafe in early 2019 at 61 Limestone St in central Ipswich. He said initial teething problems with equipment that he couldn’t have foreseen made for a tough entry into the café scene.
“You get a feel for the industry quickly and how quickly you have to outlay money … but it was a great start because now everything feels easier,” he said.
Briggs’ previous roles were in community work, including managing a support service for young people with disability.
“It sounds like a real big jump industry wise but I’ve realised it’s really not. Hospitality is exactly the same – it’s about people.
“And it’s a lot easier to care for people by giving them good food and good coffee, they’re a lot more receptive,” he said.
Ipswich people had been supportive and welcoming, and Briggs was delighted to be adding to the city’s food scene.
“Being someone that loves Ipswich and being an Aussie and liking the underdog, you sort of see the potential – we just see this beautiful old town that has so much potential.
“We have loyal regular customers, that aren’t just coming because we have food and they like the coffee, but because there’s a genuine relationship there as well which is nice.
“If you look at how big the population is, it’s a big city, but it’s got a small town feel.
“Our motto is fast, fresh and friendly. Fast as in – not fast food but we understand and value people’s time. Fresh is that we source pretty much everything locally, from the Lockyer Valley to Glass House Mountains, and we’re using specialty grade coffee so that you’re getting something quality.
“And friendly – you’re going to get a smile here.”