The new owner of the cafe known as 10 Best Street, Sebastian Beard, has come a long way since working as a 14-year-old in a Chinese restaurant.
Mr Beard, who already worked at the Wagga cafe, was on the brink of relocating to Hervey Bay when the opportunity arose for him to set himself up in the business.
"The previous owner invited me around for a beer and told me he was done, he was out, but I could not let the doors close on this place as it has so much potential," Mr Beard said.
"By the time I finished school I had already worked for five years in the hospitality industry, working in cafes during the day and restaurants by night.
"I spent six years in Sydney and I've been down in Melbourne for the past 11 years.
"I have family in Wagga and moved here just over a year ago to escape the craziness in Melbourne with lockdowns and restrictions."
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There's no need to spell out the location of the cafe as its current name speaks volumes on where it is situated.
However, although it is currently operating under the previous name, big changes are on the way, according to Mr Beard.
"I plan to relaunch and rebrand in a few weeks," he said.
"I'm absolutely tight-lipped about the new name at the moment.
"I've always been interested in Indigenous heritage, I'm really interested in a sense of place and with this year being Heal Country, the name will be indigenous based.
"I'll explore all the ideas that are relevant in the spirit of Heal Country."
A previous winner of the Time Out magazine's best cafe award at Light Years, in Hawthorn East, Melbourne, Mr Beard brings a wealth of experience from establishments where he has worked in Sydney and Melbourne.
He is eager to shape his venue into a place that becomes popular with the community.
"I'm keen to get to know the locals and get a feel for the place," Mr Beard said.
"Some of the Melbourne cafes are considered the best in the world for a polished service and I want to bring that here, a classy, casual touch of service with some old school hospitality.
"It's great that we have the tradies first thing in the morning and it's good to see so many ambos, cops and firies, that makes you feel connected to the community.
"I want to be a place that caters for the oldies who just want to come in for a toastie and a hot cappuccino, or the person that wants some specialty roast coffee."
COVID-19 initially played a part in Mr Beard's decision to move to Wagga, however the virus has not daunted him taking over the reins of the business during uncertain times.
"I started an ice delivery company but when COVID hit, it shut it down almost overnight," he said.
"This opportunity wouldn't have come along if COVID hadn't been in the mix.
"COVID has been a great leveller but I was trying to be prepared for it."
Mr Beard plans to give the cafe a facelift and new name and is committed to offer "good food, good service and trying to do the simple things right".
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