GLADSTONE is a thriving metropolis according to two of its newest business owners, who have come from small towns out west.

Adam Stephenson and Christene Woods have moved here to take over café Jamaica Blue at Stockland Shopping Centre.

The café was refurbished last year to become part of the outside food court area, and is a constant buzz of traffic at the entrance of the centre.

Some of these pluses were the reasons its new owners decided to move their life from Kingaroy and Wondai.

Christene managed the Jamaica Blue in Kingaroy from its opening for the past three years, and before that worked in the same café with the owners for more than 20 years.

But Adam was running the pool in Wondai for the past 15 years, and the couple were living half an hour apart.

"We were living in two different towns and we wanted to do something that would bring us together," he said.

"We were on two different schedules and it made it hard to see each other."

New owners Christene Woods and Adam Stephenson with Kiera, 12, at Jamaica Blue in Kin Kora's Stockland Shopping Centre.
New owners Christene Woods and Adam Stephenson with Kiera, 12, at Jamaica Blue in Kin Kora's Stockland Shopping Centre. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Adam had his own "learn to swim" business and has been teaching swimming since he was 14.

"I know very little about coffee, but I do like food," he said.

Coffee is one of the highlights of Jamaica Blue, and Christene doesn't start her day without one.

"I love a coffee, a flat white usually," she said.

"Our beans are exclusive to the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, and to Jamaica Blue."

The couple have spent the last few weeks receiving extra training in Sydney and in store over the last week. They officially take over on Monday, June 29.

The store's previous owners left late last year and the business has been in the hands of franchise owners Foodco and managed in Gladstone over the past few months, but Foodco prefers location-based owners and were pleased to hand it over to Adam and Christene.

Christene also brought 12-year-old daughter Kiera, who has been seeing how the store runs before she starts school next term, while older sister Jayde stayed behind in Kingaroy to finish her year 12 studies before joining the family at the end of the year.

Adam said most stores start from scratch but the staff had done a great job so far with the store and the community.

"There's a great team here who have performed well," he said.

"Now it's a matter of incorporating our management style with their work style."

They also have a Foodco food tech and consultant to help them and the staff in the transition.

"Foodco have been instrumental in the transition," he said.

"We're the new guys coming in but Foodco have made it a real easy process."

He said they also set the menus to a certain degree but franchise owners can then add around that.

"We're wondering what the community would like and their tastes, so we can cater for that side of things."

They also hope to get involved and support the community in various activities.



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