Cafe’s sweet success

By Michael Roberts | posted on November 12, 2020

DESPITE not sharing any previous hospitality experience, Lyn and Neil Handasyde continue to enjoy sweet success with their Chester Pass Road cafe venture.

For years the husband and wife team told themselves they would never open up a hospitality business, but fast forward to 2020 and the strawberry lovers are the toast of Albany town.

Handasyde Strawberries was handed the top honour at the 2020 Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry Great Southern Business Awards on Saturday night, taking home Business of the Year.

The family-owned cafe and agribusiness was also recognised with the best tourism business award.

Ms Handasyde said the key to their popularity was making the food from scratch using natural ingredients.

“People with allergies love it because we can tell them what’s in their food,” she said.

“We aren’t making things from a packet.”

After opening the cafe business in early 2018 selling just gelato and strawberries, Ms Handasyde said they were careful not to expand too quickly.

“We did a little bit at a time, it’s grown naturally,” she said.

“When we first started up one lady asked me ‘what are you going to do when you get too busy that you can’t keep up with what you’re making.’ And my reply was, hire more people and that’s what we’ve done.

“We went from two employees to 30.”

The Handasydes dedicated the award wins to their hard-working staff.