Matt and Karen Page had careers that led to them travelling all over the world. However, they love the New England so much, they have just become the new owners of our Gloria Jean’s, Armidale – and they plan on being here for a while.
How long have you lived in the area?
We did the tree change 9 years ago from the Central Coast. We came up with our eldest two daughters Jess and Ayleigh and bought a tin shed out at Invergowrie, which we have been slowly converting into a home ever since.
But now we have the business in town, we decided it was time to come a little closer. So, we have bought a block of land, and now we just need to build a house on it.
Tell us about your family.
There are six of us in total: Matt and I, then our girls Jess (18), Ayleigh (14), Willow (17 months) and Scarlet (3 months).
Matt and I are pretty much straight down the line, take us how we are. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes Matt tells me I’m a little too out there … but that’s me!
The girls all have such different personalities, but have the headstrong focus in common. Jess loves the arts and indoors, Ayleigh is horse mad, and the two little ones seem just as headstrong as the rest of us – just not quite old enough to enforce it. Matt loves working out and keeping fit and encouraging others to do the same. I’m more of a couch potato and love doing nothing – not that I get a lot of time for that these days.
What inspired you to purchase Gloria Jean’s?
Both Matt and I have been in careers that have seen us travel away from home for long periods of time.
Matt is with the Army and has deployed to both Iraq in 2007/8 and Afghanistan in 2009/10, as well as numerous training exercises within Australia that sees him away for weeks on end. I work as a business analyst for CHEP and have a portfolio of 9 countries within Asia Pacific, so I have had to travel overseas for business more times than I can count.
We decided it was time for a change, but we didn’t want to leave Armidale – this is home for us. We wanted to buy into a business that would see us come home to the family together every night. We didn’t expect to have two kids under two at the same time, but it all just seems to work.
As for Gloria Jean’s Coffees … well, it is such a well known and great brand – not to mention the fact that we love our coffee. When we saw it was for sale, we just thought, “Why not?” It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to both get in and do something together, and we have a great team of people working with us.
How have you settled into the busy role of local business owners?
Well, it is only 2 weeks in, and we are still learning a lot – but I think we are doing OK. We have some exciting changes coming, and overall the staff and customers have been fantastic and so supportive.
Matt is the face of the business; he is so good with managing staff and looking after the customers – not to mention he makes a mean coffee and has a real passion for the business.
I like paperwork (as boring as that sounds), so I’m happy to sit out the back and plug away at the computer and look after our family.
We know each other’s strengths, and we try and teach each other as we go along. I’m sure one day I will make a great coffee too.
What are your future plans for Gloria Jean’s?
Sky’s the limit … we want to get our feet firm on the ground, make sure all our staff are happy and focused and extremely well trained across all aspects of front of house.
Our mission is to make sure every guest who walks in the door has a perfect coffee and great experience with us.
We really want to get involved with the community as well, and we have so many thoughts and plans for what we want to do. We just have to take it one step at a time, so we do it right the first time.
Thank you Karen.