An Edenhope couple is preparing to reopen the Natimuk Cafe in time for the Australia Day long weekend.
Greg Trenery and Lucy Crowe say the reopened cafe will be familiar to people who call it their "local" coffee shop.
Owners Kevin and Leanne Lindorff, of Natimuk, closed the Jory Street venue in September to concentrate on more family time. They briefly reopened it for the Nati Frinj in November.
Ms Crowe finished a two-and-a-half year stint working at Horsham's Cafe Jas on Friday, while Mr Trenery works at a farm at Ullswater, near Edenhope.
Mr Trenery said: "We thought about leasing the cafe maybe two months ago - Lucy saw it driving past to work every day. I decided to ring up to find out what was happening: I've always liked eating out, quality food and customer service."
"We won't change too much initially. We would like to keep it similar to what Kevin and Leeanne were doing - they're going to help us for the first few weeks - until we get on our feet and understand the day-to-day running of the cafe."
The couple began preparing the cafe for reopening in December, and settle this week.
Mr Trenery said the couple would employ three people when they opened. "We'll need about six casuals to call on when we're short and to rotate weekend shifts," he said.
He said people wanting to work at the cafe could contact him via its Facebook page.
"We might not be open every Monday - we are this time because of the public holiday. We've got our own free range eggs on the farm where we live, so we will use them as much as possible," he said.
Ms Crowe said the menu would be similar to what people remembered, with some specials for Australia Day.
"King's Katering in Edenhope grow their own fresh vegetables, and we're going to get as much as we can off them," she said. "We are also using granola from Frances Strawberry farm and there is a garden at the back of the cafe with herbs and seasonal vegetables."
"We're going to stick with Five Senses for coffee for now, because that's what sells, but we'll try and look at something more local down the track.
"It was our dream three or four years down the track to run our own paddock to plate cafe, but this came up so we jumped at the opportunity because it could be another ten years before it became available again. It was viable, what they were asking for it."
Mrs Lindorff said she was confident the new leasees would be a "good fit" for Natimuk.
"We had a few other queries (about buying or leasing) from people in Western Australia, Queensland and Melbourne, but with all the Grampians stuff (with rock climbing restrictions) going on they hesitated," she said. "They didn't want to relocate if they couldn't climb.
"There are people from Dimboola and Horsham that call this their local."
The cafe will be open from 8.30am every day from Friday until Monday January 27, and every weekend thereafter.
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