A magical view to the future as cafe owner plans retirement
NESTLED in the lush green hills of Killarney lies the iconic Spring Creek Mountain Cafe, where entrepreneurial local Bev Ruskey has served the community her home-cooked meals for almost two decades.
But the labour of love may soon come to an end: Ms Ruskey is nearing retirement and seeking someone special to take over the business.
Ms Ruskey bought the bare block with her husband Bruce in 1991, lured in by magical views stretching far across the Cambanoora Gorge.
The couple had no grand plans for the land until they started to notice tourists lumbering over their wooden fence.
“They all came for Carr’s Lookout but it wasn’t like it was now, it was just a little patch of grass,” Ms Ruskey said.
“So they’d climb over and start picnicking or camping.”
The influx of interest sparked an idea and by December 2002, the Spring Creek Mountain Cafe was born.
Bruce, tragically, did not live to see its opening day.
“Everyone has their trials and tribulations, that’s just life,” Ms Ruskey said.
“My husband died while we were building the cafe and my family thought I should have sold up then and gone back to Brisbane.
“But I didn’t want to die wondering if I should have given it a go.”
Ms Ruskey told herself she’d give it 18 months.
Now after 18 years, thousands of pies and a successful expansion into holiday accommodation, the time has come to let it go.
“It was unbelievable, the amount of people that came once word got around,” Ms Ruskey said.
“I’ve met so many lovely people and made so many fantastic friends and really, the cafe has made my life.
“But now … I look forward to doing nothing!”
The timing couldn’t be better for the busy business woman, who faced new and unexpected challenges when drought and fire ravaged the region.
“The impact of drought flows on to everyone,” she said.
“Christmas came, and it was busy, but for a few months there it was the quietest I’ve ever seen it.
“But even when things are down, they don’t stay down forever!”
The Spring Creek Mountain Cafe and Cottages continue to operate with walking tours, summer specials and menu items that include such gems as the Stanthorpe apple tarte tatin. To make a booking call 4664 7101.
If you’re interested in purchasing the property, please call agent Mark Mauch on 0419 519 979.