Fairfield Store Rebuilds After Townsville Floods
In February this year, the devastating Townsville floods forced the closure of four local Zarraffa’s Coffee stores.
The result of a monsoon and a tropical low converging, the flood meant residents and businesses were forced to evacuate quickly due to rising waters and a loss of power.
While three of the local stores were able to set about opening their doors relatively quickly, Zarraffa’s Coffee Fairfield, located in the Fairfield Shopping Centre, was significantly impacted.
Structural damage to the store meant its closure for a period of almost four months and a repair bill in the hundreds of thousands, and while this was a devastating blow to all involved, it is often in adverse circumstances that some of the best displays of teamwork and camaraderie can be found.
The Fairfield franchisees and their phenomenal staff, underpinned with support from Zarraffa’s Coffee head office, worked tirelessly to salvage what they could and repair the store over this time. Finally, in May this year, amid much relief and celebration, the store’s coffee machines fired up once again.
During the clean-up and rebuilding, Townsville franchisee Corey Blakemore and the Zarraffa’s Coffee Fairfield team decided to use their mobile Zarraffa’s Coffee trailer to offer complimentary coffees to workers and the clean-up crew within the shopping centre.
“This was easily one of the hardest things that I have been through’’, Mr Blakemore said of the experience, ‘’especially watching the loss to our local communities. But what I found was their willingness to help each other out, whether it be opening their houses, cooking a meal or just lending an ear.”
“I saw the absolute best in people as they would check in on each other, and work through it together as a community”.
Mr Blakemore said in the end he had to completely gut the store, floors, toilets, fridges, walls and cabinetry, deciding to replace about 95% of the store.
“We wanted to know that once we reopened that nothing would be compromised in the customer experience. Six months on, the community is still feeling the effects of the flood. People still have not moved back to their homes, while others haven’t been able to reopen their businesses.’’
“I am so grateful for the support that the locals of Townsville have given us, it is an absolute honour to be able to serve such a wonderful and resilient community.”
Zarraffa’s Coffee CEO Marnie Sheldon said it was a testament to Corey and his team’s determination, plus a love of coffee in the north, that helped keep spirits up during the tough period of rebuilding.
“We are, at our core, a family of small businesses and it was heartening to see that when the chips were down for our Townsville team, we were overwhelmed with messages of support and help.”
“The continued support and patronage of our North Queensland customers has ensured the store was able to get back up to speed quickly and back to the job of easing people’s daily grind, one cup at a time.”
Zarraffa’s Coffee Fairfield is located at Fairfield Central Shopping Centre, Lakeside Drive, Idalia, QLD.
Open 5am-10pm daily.
Click here for store information.