Dave and I come from Sydney; we met at our workplace ‘Badde Mannors Café’ in Glebe, where we got a taste for funky café’s with great people and fun times.
Fun Fact – 4 café’s (that I know of) have been created by people that I worked with at Badde Manors, there has to be something about that place that inspired them..
When the café sold after 20 something years, we all scattered in the wind, Dave and I worked various jobs, then one day we found ourselves not living life how we thought we should. So we ran away to art school in Newcastle. There we had a blast being really creative and meeting some of the best people.
But the Lure of the café was not to be quashed… We looked into starting a café in Newcastle but everything was out of our price range so we looked further a field, and low and behold we stumbled upon this little town of Bellingen.
This place seemed to be Ideal, small town with contemporary stores and people that are friendly and relaxed. We wanted to be a part of that.
In May 2008 we bought ‘The Boiling Billy Coffee House’ a Café that had been running in one guise or another for 24 years.
Transforming the interior was quite a job, and there was a lot of making it up as we went along, ‘the boiling billy style’ wasn’t ‘our style’ but we were unsure how the locals would take to us ‘out of towners’ completely axing it, but after talking to some people, the consensus was to please change it…… So ‘Black Bear Café’ was born. Over the years I have been collecting more retro and quirky stuff that would suit. Sometimes it’s hard to decide weather it lives at home or in the café….the latter usually wins.
5 years on and we are still growing and changing. It has certainly thrown us some challenges along the way, but we are stronger and more experienced for it.
Thank You to the people of this town that welcomed us and have made us a part of the Bellingen story. - Sofi & Dave