Call for expressions of interest to operate cafe at Old Cheese Factory

With plans underway to reopen the Old Cheese Factory café, expressions of interest are being sought from suitable hospitality operators to manage the popular Homestead space.

The Homestead Café was previously run by Council until March 2020 when it was temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

While a decision was made that Council would no longer operate the café once restrictions were lifted, community consultation undertaken early in 2021 found there was strong support for a café at the site. Since January this year, a takeaway café service has been operating.

Council is now seeking expressions of interest from a third-party hospitality provider to run the Homestead space as a dine-in and take-away café under a lease arrangement.

The 25-acre Old Cheese Factory site is a historic venue that offers space for community activities and workshops, picturesque gardens, playground, buildings and grounds that can be hired for functions.

It is anticipated that in addition to running a dine-in café, the new operator would also have capacity to provide a limited catering service for events held at the Old Cheese Factory.

City of Casey Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Patterson, said the Old Cheese Factory was one of Council’s most popular facilities, attracting locals and tourists who come to explore the heritage buildings, gardens, take part in regular activities, or visit the regular farmers’ market.

“We are keen to hear from suitably qualified and experienced café operators who are interested in operating the cafe in the Homestead space and reinvigorating this much-loved facility,” Mr Patterson said.

“The Old Cheese Factory attracts a significant number of visitors throughout the year, and we are looking forward to seeing a thriving café as part of the offering once again.”

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