CHILDREN COME FIRST: Cynthia Hickson will close The Rustic Coffee Lounge for good today.
CHILDREN COME FIRST: Cynthia Hickson will close The Rustic Coffee Lounge for good today. Liana Walker

High rental price forces business owner to shut her doors

IF YOU have been meaning to drop in to The Rustic Coffee Lounge, time is just about up.

The Maryland Street cafe doors will be closed for the final time today.

Cynthia Hickson began running the cafe in 2012, when it was called Lorenza's of Stanthorpe, and rebranded it in 2014.

"I had always wanted to own my own business and at the time this seemed like the perfect opportunity,” she said.

"The biggest highlight of running the business has been the interaction with customers and having built up a regular clientele.”

Cynthia put The Rustic Coffee Lounge on the market when she decided she wanted to spend more time with her children.

"It takes a lot of work to run a business and it can be very time consuming,” she said.

But without a buyer, and the lease on the premises expiring, Cynthia has decided to close the doors for good.

"I have been asked if I will open up somewhere else in Stanthorpe and I have told people that no, I will not,” she said.

"The rents for businesses here in Stanthorpe are unbelievably high for a small town.

"We are paying nearly as much as places in Brisbane and that makes it hard for small businesses to survive.

"The fact that we are currently in a drought has not helped, as people are not willing to spend money on things that are not necessary.”

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