League of Extraordinary Women – Amy Minichiello


Amy Minichiello

Amy Minichiello

What was the catalyst for you launching your business?

It has long been a dream of mine since starting out in the hospitality industry to one day have my very own shop. It was time to jump in the deep end and start what I had long dreamt of!

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

My alarm goes off at 4:45am! Oh yes it’s extremely hard come the cold, wet, wintery mornings, but someone has to do it. I am at AMK switching everything on at 5.30, flouting the bench to get the daily batch of scones into the oven. Next up, setting up ‘Pearl’ our glorious coffee machine, setting up the display with out daily sweet and savoury offerings. The door opens up at 8am and the day officially starts. I cook and bake from then until around 4pm, it’s usually a constant battle against the clock to try and get everything done! Out the front is usually buzzing with mums and bubs, laughing and chatting away whilst their children enjoy a lolly bag and solo diners are entertained by the daily shenanigans! Most of our customers are local and are super lovely always up for a chat. With the last coffee served at 4pm, it takes us about 1.5 hours to clean and pack everything up. My staff leave at 5.30 and my husband and I generally leave around 6pm (that’s pretty good for us) then it’s home to start the dinner, post my daily shot on to Instagram, check emails and try and sit down at about 8pm! Phew. It’s hard work but I love it!

What are your guiding principles?

If you want something to be successful you have to put your heart and soul into every aspect of it. To have a passion and love what you do is so important.
Keep pushing!

How do you make yourself more productive?

I am a huge list maker, as soon as I think of something I write it down otherwise I forget. To be as organised as possible also helps to be more productive. I use the calendar on my phone a lot! I also try to get enough sleep each night.

What are your top resources when you’re in a need of creative inspiration?

Reading cookbooks, looking through Instagram, Pinterest, magazines.

What mindsets helped make you successful?

Having a never give up attitude, even when you think you can’t go on both mentally and physically you just have to keep pushing. Having the support around me of my husband, family and friends also makes this a lot easier. Each day we open our doors we make people happy, we are a part of most people’s daily routine and where they come for their special treat, be it a coffee or a piece of sweet deliciousness.

What do you do to challenge your underlying beliefs, paradigms and assumptions?

To make sure I don’t get stuck in a bubble I always make the time to go out and explore. On my one day off I will make it a priority to take off on an adventure somewhere, to check out what other cafes are doing and sample some of their goodies. I think it’s also important to step out of your comfort zone every now and again and do something that you wouldn’t normally see yourself doing. Never say no to an opportunity that could take you on a wild ride!

If you wanted to create an environment where motivation can thrive, what’s the first thing you would do?

Get a group of creative minds together each with a huge blank canvas, piles of magazines, paints, pencils and just go for it!

Which person of influence, dead or alive, would you like to have as a mentor and why?

This is a tough one! There are so many inspiring people out there! Both men and women alike. For me, because I can only choose one, would have to be Maggie Beer, she has done wonders for the food scene and has the most infectious personality I have ever seen in anyone. A truly gentle and nurturing soul.

What book would you most recommend and why?

Lisa Messengers books and magazines for that matter. She just gets on with it!

Did you have any ‘entrepreneurial experiences’ as a child?

My dad has definitely had a huge impact on my entrepreneurial journey. When I was young he set off on his own to establish a company that resulted in being quite a big success, through hard work and determination he showed me that hard work really does pay off.

What do you find most exciting about being an entrepreneur?

The journey that this wild ride takes you on, the people that you meet and the team of people that you get to work with everyday. Doing what you love to do everyday.

What has been your biggest sacrifice or challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

Being in the hospitality industry means missing out on a lot of social gatherings, I don’t see my friends as much as I would like and it takes a lot of organising to take time off!

What has been your most effective marketing tactic or strategy?

We had only been open for six months and just by chance we were asked to appear on channel 9 Postcards which was insane both because we were really excited and the fact that it meant the whole nation would see us! Instagram has also been a huge marketing tool.

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

We create everything by hand on site – our customers love that. It takes a lot more time and effort but that’s one of the ways we stand out from our competitors.

What systems/apps/organisational tools have you used to automate your business to give you more time for planning & development?

Instagram has been a huge help to get our message out there and to let people know what we are all about.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve done in business?

Opening the doors on the first day!!! I remember being in the kitchen with my mum and just sliding down the front of the fridge with tears in my eyes saying “I don’t think I can do this!”

How do you deal with failure?

Surrounding myself with my family, feeling a wee bit sorry for myself then getting on with the job at hand. Moving on…

Looking back, what would you do differently?

To not be so afraid of what people thought.

What do you love the most about what you do now?

I get to create special sweet treats that give people much joy, especially special order cakes for celebrations. Knowing that a cake is going off to help celebrate an occasion makes me do a little happy dance.

What does female empowerment mean to you and why is it important?

In this day and age females have so many opportunities compared to females back in the ‘olden days.’ We have come a long way since then and that’s really exciting! The future only holds more opportunities.

Do you follow any health/wellness/family routines you would recommend to other female entrepreneurs?

To enjoy everything in moderation. I think it is important to have some sort of exercise that you enjoy doing, it takes your mind off other things and makes you feel great.

Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote:

Never stop dreaming!

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