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Setting up shop

I’ve always wanted to have my own cafe-style business

Throwing in a high-powered, highly stressful legal career to open up your own café sounds like something you’d only read about in chick lit novels. But New Zealander Kirstin Hadley did just that.

She swapped her job as a lawyer with a big City firm to serve coffee and Afghan biscuits at a café she set up with her partner Nicolas.

Lola Simón — named after two family pets — opened on King St, Chiswick, and is an Antipodean-style café that offers flat whites and Anzac biscuits.

Hadley, 35, says opening the café was a dream come true.

“I’m from Wellington and years and years ago a café opened there that was cool and modern, and I thought it was amazing. Ever since then I’ve wanted to have my own cafe-style business,” she says.

The couple worked hard to create a ‘café-by-day, restaurant-by-night’ atmosphere, which is already frequented by quite a few Kiwis and Australians who have discovered the spot.

“It’s amazing how word gets out,” Hadley says. 

But it’s partly due to the food. Hadley serves up pancakes with bacon, banana and maple syrup, chicken clubs and ‘really good steak sandwiches’.

And, of course, New Zealand lmb and green-lipped mussels. Funnily enough, Hadley finds she’s working longer hours than in her legal job.

But she’s says it’s all worth it. “There are some things about being a lawyer that I do miss,” she admits. “But being self-employed is so satisfying. This is a place we created ourselves so I don’t mind — I actually love it.”

Oz visa scheme for Indonesia

Australia and Indonesia have agreed to start a working holiday visa scheme.

The countries have finalised an agreement to establish a scheme similar to ones already in place between Australia and numerous other countries, according to Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans.

“This will facilitate the capacity of young people from each country to work and holiday in each other’s countries,” he said. The holiday work visa agreement is expected to be formally signed later this year in Australia.

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