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Little touches key for new teahouse

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October 19, 2017

Giulia O'Keefe, owner of The Windmill at Emerald Bank

Just over seven weeks ago, local woman Giulia O’Keefe took over The Windmill at Emerald Bank.

Giulia was inspired to find a place in which she could open Shepparton’s first teahouse. She often felt that her beloved town lacked a place for people to enjoy a range of teas whilst relaxing in a beautiful setting.

When she found The Windmill, she was ecstatic.

“I just really wanted somewhere nice to go for a cup of tea. I looked at the empty shops in Shepp without any luck. Whilst working on my business plan I came across it [The Windmill]. It was perfect!” Said Giulia.

Giulia has huge plans for her business, which began by making things authentic and ensuring the iconic windmill spun the correct way.

The windmill was originally part of the Shepparton’s International Village, which became a major tourist attraction for the town in 1972. It was moved from the site and established at Emerald Bank when the village was decommissioned in 2006.

A new and exciting addition for the café, is dining opportunities inside the windmill. The space is currently being converted to seat up to 12 people and will be available for private dining and functions.

Giulia hopes to reinvigorate the chocolate shop into a chocolate cafe, offering sweet treats such as churros and fondue.

The tea room will be filled with antique furniture, delicate tea sets and a fireplace.

“People will be able to sit and potter around all afternoon.” Giulia says.

One of Giulia’s largest goals is getting more local people out to The Windmill, as many of her current customers are tourists passing through.

“It’s beautiful out here. You can sit and enjoy the view of the gardens, whilst kids have a run around on the lawns.” Giulia says.

“You can also take a look at everything else out here at Emerald Bank.”

Giulia says it’s the little touches that count and will continue bringing quality and striving to provide what people want.  An example of this is no extra charge for lactose or gluten free products.

“I should be thanking these people for choosing me to prepare their food, not punishing them for something they can’t help!”

Visit Giulia and her team from Wednesday to Monday, 8am to 4pm.

The Windmill at Emerald Bank is located at 7719 Goulburn Valley Hwy Shepparton.

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