Aimee Rattenbury and Sharleen McFeeters have taken over the baking mitts at a long-standing and beloved food spot, Yass Country Kitchen.
The pair bought the business in August last year from friend and mentor Julie Rosser who was retiring.
Aimee and Sharleen know the business inside and out after working on and off for Julie at Yass Country Kitchen for several years.
The Country Kitchen has been a staple of local cuisine for over 25 years and has known three different homes throughout Yass since Julie opened the café. But the loyal customer base has followed the business wherever it went in town.
It has been in its current location next to Yass IGA on Laidlaw Street for about seven years. The store’s proximity to nearby stores and businesses provides the café plenty of foot traffic.
While working together at the café Aimee and Sharleen said they decided if it ever came up for sale, they would both buy it.
Aimee started at the Country Kitchen at the green age of 17 and continued to work on and off there for several years alongside Sharleen, who worked at the café over a period of eight years.
Now 32, Aimee also doubles as a nurse at the Yass Hospital three days a week.
“We much prefer being our own bosses,” Aimee said. “But [hospitality’s] been a passion of ours for a while.”
The pair took over the reins of the café the day Yass went into lockdown in August.
“So the day we bought it we went straight into lockdown and we thought, ‘Oh no what have we done?’ But it’s been fantastic.”
During the day from 7:30am to 4pm Country Kitchen operates as a sit-down café but come night time the restaurant serves up pizza and pasta.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights the girls’ husbands act as pizza delivery drivers.
Although they haven’t changed Julie’s original dinner menu, the daytime menu is set to be updated soon.
Aimee learnt the art of baking under Julie’s tutelage and now bakes the pies, sausage rolls and pizzas for the restaurant.
“Best pies, sausage rolls and coffee in town,” she added.
By Brianna O’Rourke