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Krankies Cafè has new owners

By Vinnie Todd

Krankies Café in Manilla has re-opened under new ownership of business partners Leah McArthur and Ian Gdye, but Leah is adamant that 25-year-old chef Hayden Whitney is the “absolute star of the show”.

“He’s amazing – the best kid I’ve ever met. For someone his age, he has so much motivation, and that motivation just rolls off onto me. He has a lot of drive about him, basically running the kitchen himself. We get a lot of feedback from people, not only on the food Hayden prepares, but also his bubbly personality. And his wife-to-be Finn has also done a marvellous job keeping people up to date with what’s going on through Facebook ,” Leah said.

At the moment, it’s only Leah and Hayden doing the hard yards at the café. Business partner Ian is a truckie, so only pops into Krankies when he gets a little time away from the wheel. Leah’s hubby Aaron is also a truckie, but prefers spending his spare time on the couple’s acreage outside Barraba.

Leah considers her step into the café as a taking on a new adventure.

“All I was doing prior to the café re-opening was running the farm and rearing our six kids who range in age from 18 months to 16 years. You’ve really got to try and do something different in life, try a different adventure. I was born way out west in the sticks, and we moved about a lot as kids – we didn’t stay in the one spot for too long.

“Manilla’s a great little town, it has a lot going for it. We have patrons of all ages coming into the cafeand enjoying themselves – we even put older records on for the more mature aged customers, and they love it.”

The café is currently awaiting a new pizza oven, and when that’s installed, meals like pizza, hamburgers, pasta, breakfast menu along with cakes and sweets, all homemade by Hayden, will be on offer.

In the pipeline will be the weekly Special Night on Friday and Saturday from 5.30pm to 8pm where the specialties could include anything from a roast dinner evening to a smorgasbord of pizza.

“We’ll have something different each week,” Leah said.

The café currently operates Wednesday through to Sunday from 8am to 3.30pm.

Though in her spare time, Leah doesn’t really put her feet up to wind down – she spends hours tending to the needs of her six children. “It’s either washing or cleaning – but then, I did have six kids,” she joked.