The Ballad of Jack and Dianne…
Jack and Dianne had lived on Kangaroo Island for a few years, when a shop became available on Dauncey St. They decided to open a coffee shop. Although they had never run a coffee shop before, they had run other successful businesses, and Jack had training and experience as a barista. They prepared a business plan, applied for finance, and set up a website to let people know what they were doing.
A few days later, Dianne logged onto Facebook.
Save Dauncey St: Has everyone seen this proposal? This will wreck Dauncey St. Speak up now!
Curious Resident 1: I think it’s just a coffee shop. Not sure there is much to worry about, really.
Save Dauncey St: We have just discovered they plan to have a roaster in there. So much for being just a coffee shop. Makes you wonder what else they’re not telling us.
Friend 1 of SDS: OMG! Imagine the fire risk, and the risk to nearby businesses, and the smoke pollution. This is just irresponsible.
Friend 2 of SDS: Why is this even being considered? It doesn’t tick any boxes for KI!
F3 of SDS: No one makes any money in retailing. That shop should just be bulldozed and made into residential units. No one needs another coffee shop. We need more cheap accommodation.
F4 of SDS: Just bulldoze it and leave it as a park. It’s time this community started thinking about the children.
F5 of SDS: It’s not just the fire risk with a roaster. Where are they getting beans from? You can bet they are not just organic Australian beans. It’s clear no one has thought about the biological hazard this presents! There goes our clean, green image.
F6 of SDS: Three shops have failed on Dauncey St in the last ten years. Why should this be any different. It’s just another kick in the guts for KI!
Curious Resident 2: Guys, really. I think it’s just a coffee shop.
F1 of SDS: Who is paying you to write this crap? What’s in it for you? Anyway, you’ve only lived here for twelve years. What gives you the right to have a say?
Curious Resident 2: Nothing. I just think it could be nice to have another option.. And it means a few more jobs for young people. Let’s just give it a go.
F2 of SDS: You might not have any vested interest, but it’s clear you have an agenda. How could anyone who cares about the island support this?
F3: I hate it when people come to the island immediately start trying to change it. If you don’t like the island as it is, why come here?
Curious Resident 2: Couldn’t you just talk with them? Negotiate? Try to work out something that will work for everyone.
SDS: There’s nothing to negotiate. This shouldn’t be allowed. Ever. Anywhere.
F1: Why don’t they just go down to that derelict shop at the end of the road where the koalas are? It was good enough for that other shop that didn’t open.
SDS: Yes, good idea. As long as it’s not near my end of the street.
F2: When I opened my shop I didn’t think there were going to be any other shops on Dauncey St. What if people stop coming to my shop now? It isn’t fair.
Curious Resident 1: Have a look at their website. Let’s just wait and see exactly what they are planning, and then object if you really want to.
F4: OMG! Time some people learned to SHUT UP!
F5: My friend who has been helping with the renovations says they have no grease extractors on their exhaust fans. Grease and smoke from their cooking is going be spewed all over the rest of Dauncey St. This will wreck the tourist industry.
F6: My cousin who is a plumber says there are no grease traps on their drains. It was never meant to be a food shop. Grease from cooking will just be washed straight down into the sea.
SDS: You can see why we were concerned. This needs to be stopped now. Imagine all that grease floating under the jetty. No protection for seals or dolphins. There shouldn’t be any waste going into the sea! It is a disgrace this is even being considered!
Curious Resident 2: But wait a minute SDS. Don’t you have a huge drain at the back of your place that goes straight into the sea?
CR2: But I was there yesterday. I’ve got photos.
SDS: Oh, that drain. Well, nothing comes out of it, and if it does it’s nothing to do with us, and anyway, it’s just water. Or nearly.
F6: OMG, CR2. You should be ashamed, saying such horrible things about a local business. How low.
F1: I had a visitor over the weekend who said she was shocked something like this had been proposed. She said she would never come back to Dauncey St if it was smoky and smelly and covered with grease.
SDS: My friends say the same thing. But it gets worse. What about the leafy sea dragons? How are they going to respond to all this pollution?
F2: I just read on their website they are planning to sell cakes! They want to put everyone else out of business.
SDS: We told you they were not telling us everything. Think about the impact on fishing from the jetty!
F3: I just saw on their website it’s cold drinks as well. Someone needs to put a stop to this out of control project now!
F4: My friend who works for SDS said they were thinking about putting another person on next year, half time, maybe. But now they definitely won’t. So much for new jobs. We are already losing jobs for something that won’t even get off the ground!
CR: But are they are planning to do any cooking there? Why not ask them?
F5: They haven’t been telling the truth about this project from the beginning. Look at all the things we discovered on their website! Why would you trust anything they say?
F2: Of course they are going to be cooking. No one makes money from coffee.
F6: Exactly. They have a vested interest. What is the point in asking people who don’t care about the community or the environment and are just out for money?
Although this was distressing for Jack and Dianne, they were eventually able to open their coffee shop. There were howls of indignation: “How could this be approved when so many of us were against it?” But it was approved because most of the objections had nothing to do with what Jack and Dianne had planned or built. The ones that did, fire safety for the roaster, for example, were well provided for to ensure safety both for the little coffee shop, and for neighbours. They had never intended to do any cooking on site, as their website had made plain from the beginning, so there were no issues with cooking smells or grease.
Eventually, people realised the coffee was pretty darned good, and The Happy Bean soon became a favourite with locals and visitors alike. People forgot all the fuss, and life went on as usual. Dauncey St had another successful shop, a bit more colour, and maybe even a few more visitors.
But no one ever apologised.
Oh, and some real information: