THE owners of the Long Gully Post Office have sought make their business safer by bringing more people in.
A coffee shop might seem a surprising answer. But Gar Huang and Shen Lin hope the bustle it brings will make the environment safer.
Mr Huang and Mrs Lin have owned the post office for nearly 10 years. In 2018 Mr Huang was injured in an attack, the second in their time at the business.
The pair both work in the post office, but Mr Huang was often there alone while Mrs Lin looked after their daughter.
Both felt unsafe in the store. But they needed to keep going.
Relocating the business was an option the couple considered, but not really an option, Mrs Lin said. It was expensive, and besides, the Long Gully Post Office did need to be in Long Gully.
Selling the business was another option, but it didn't look like it would be easy.
A coffee shop was their solution. Not only would it bring more people into the post office, it was a way of diversifying their income stream.
And Long Gully didn't have a coffee shop.
"We just wanted to bring more people here, in and out. And then say 'Here is a safer environment and a location for [Gar]'," Mrs Lin said.
"At the same time I can run my business here as well. It's awesome."
Mrs Lin plans to make customers feel warmly welcomed. She's discovered she enjoys running the cafe and serving customers.
"I found I really love running a business, like a coffee business as well. So it's exciting for me," she said.
"A lot of customers come in and say, 'That's really good', because this area doesn't have a good coffee shop, or coffee corner or good coffee. They're really happy, they're looking for something like this to happen, and it happened, and they're happy."
Mr Huang and Mrs Lin have found the Long Gully community incredibly supportive of their idea.
Feeling this support has helped them to keep going, Mrs Lin said.
"Life keeps going ... we need to keep going, we've got little kids, we need food," Mrs Lin said.
"We can't just go, 'Oh this thing happened' and shut the door and go away. You can't. You need to face life.
"The customers around here are really nice. Some of them came last year, when this thing happened, they just came to check. We feel really appreciative, we just love the area here."
It took a big renovation to the building, but the coffee corner opened this week. Mrs Lin and Mr Gar even have plans to open a takeaway window in the future.
The Long Gully Post Office coffee shop will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am-12.30pm.
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