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Deluxe Café Moree wins ‘trifecta’ of Business Appreciation Awards

Deluxe Café Moree, owned and operated by Bill and Cindy Poulos, has for the third time won the Moree Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! Business Appreciation Award.

After wins in 2016 and again in 2019, the mobile coffee shop was voted on top for February-March, 2021.

“We are very honoured to get a ‘trifecta’ of appreciation awards, and this achievement was only made possible because of all the people on the Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! Facebook page who took the time to vote for us,” Cindy said

“It’s an honour just to be nominated but to win it for a third time is incredible – a big, big thank-you to everyone,” she smiled.

Deluxe Café Moree, now located at the Thomas Lee Harley Davidson complex on Frome Street, opened its side hatches for the first time 13 years ago.

“We will celebrate our 13th anniversary of trade on April 25 – the Moree Show on ANZAC Day, 2008 was out first official day of business – and customers from those early days are still our customers today, to the point where our regulars only need to phone or text “one for me please” and Cindy knows straight away what coffee to brew. Cindy has an incredible memory and knows exactly what all our regular customers drink,” Bill said.

Although Deluxe Café Moree is best-known for delicious coffee, the business is also widely regarded for its ongoing ongoing support of local charities, especially through donations to a counter-top tip-jar.

“The tip jar began in April, 2011 and up to December 2020 it has raised $25,680. This year, so far, it’s sitting at about $400. We expect that to get to about $2500 by the end of the year,” Cindy said.

“In 2020, $1320 was raised, which was a pretty good effort by our customers, given the rise in electronic transactions and the absence of cash, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A couple of times, money raised was diverted to other charities for a few months, like the Relay for Life events held at Moree Showground. We also support other local charities and organisations, through raffle prize donations and sponsorship, usually gift vouchers or cash donations,” Cindy said.

“Mostly, people just drop their loose change into the tip-jar, especially locals and regular customers.

“Because the price of most of our coffees is $4.50, it doesn’t take long for the tip-jar to fill up with fifty-cent pieces.

“We get a lot of travellers passing through town and, when they read the sign “all tips to Deluxe Café Moree are donated to Moree Hospital”, they make a point of emptying their pockets and topping up the jar.

“We also try to promote as much as possible local fundraisers and the like on our Moree Online News Facebook page,” she said.

Regarding COVID19, Bill and Cindy were asked how their business has been impacted.

“There was definitely a downturn in trade when COVID-19 first hit early last year, and we actually closed down completely for a couple of weeks,” Cindy said.

“When we re-opened, we operated from the driveway at home with a cashless delivery service only for about three weeks before returning to normal trade, albeit under COVID-19 conditions and requirements.

“In saying that, though, we are very, very lucky to be living in the bush and a town like Moree. Isolated, country communities were not as badly affected as our city cousins and, oddly enough, I think in years to come the COVID-19 pandemic might prove a catalyst to draw more people to the bush. There is evidence of this already.

“A large part of our business is attending weekend events like the Moree Show, Moree on a Plate, bush race meetings and Saturday morning junior sport and sports carnivals.

“There were none of these in 2020 and they are just starting to re-emerge now as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease for large outdoor events and gatherings.

We have followed all the guidelines and requirements issued by the State and Federal Governments. We are a registered COVID-safe business with electronic QR-code scanning available.”

Deluxe Café Moree emerged from the 2021 flood event relatively unscathed.

“We are very lucky to be on the southern side of Moree, which wasn’t affected by flood waters and we were able to trade as normal,” Bill said.

“We met a lot of visitors and interesting people from all over the country who were stranded in Moree when the roads were cut in all directions. They were staying in motels along Frome Street and Deluxe Cafe became a daily meeting spot for them to get flood updates and the latest news on road closures and the like.

“Deliveries were minimal during the flood because most of our delivery customers are on the northern side of town.

“We have had some interesting deliveries over the years. A few times we’ve made bedside deliveries to the maternity ward at Moree hospital. Apparently, a good cup of coffee or iced coffee can help speed things up a bit.

“Another time, a customer from Pally phoned through an order for his daughter, who was in town at the time, to collect for him. He then flew his micro-helicopter to Moree airport and she dropped the coffees to him. He was home in Pally enjoying piping hot coffee with his family within five minutes,” Bill smiled.

“Deliveries can be just about anywhere. We often deliver to mums and their kids enjoying a day out at one of Moree’s great parks and even drop off to B-doubles and road-trains in parking bays or weighbridge lanes when the busy harvesting seasons are in full swing.

“Deliveries to clients at hairdressers and beauticians are quite common as well, and we deliver to just about every school in town.”

Deluxe Café Moree was nominated for the award by Teresa Morgan.

“I nominated the Deluxe because of their outstanding service and dedication to Moree and the whole community,” Teresa said.

“Bill and Cindy are worthy winners and are two of the most lovely, kind-hearted people. Moree is very lucky to have them as part of the community.”

Cindy said: “We’ve known Teresa and her family for many, many years and we can’t thank her enough for thinking of us in this way. Teresa has had a pretty sad start to 2021 but still finds time to think of others. Thank-you again, Teresa, you’re an absolute gem.”

Nominations are now open for the April-May Business Appreciation Award.

To nominate who you think deserves recognition for their wonderful customer service, especially with the recent floods, go to the Moree Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/688681601261419.

Media Release: Monday, April 12, 2021