After spending several years in Sydney, Indian born qualified chef Guru Ghuman relocated to Albury in 2013 quite by accident.
“I came here to help a guy who used to work for me as a kitchen-hand in Melbourne, who thought he’d open a shop,” Guru said.
“I came here for two days, and my habit is I always look into people’s eyes and I said ‘hello’ to a few people and they smiled and said ‘hello’, and I thought ‘wow’ this is a beautiful place.
“The next day I went to Sydney, packed my bags and now I’m here.”
His Sydney friends doubted whether Guru’s Star Café and Restaurant would be a success in a regional city, but he’s pleased to prove them wrong.
“I’m a people person and I enjoy people’s company,” Guru said.
“Our menu is good, we have quality coffee, our clientele are people beautiful, I can chit chat all day – no stress. It’s beautiful and we’re settled here.”
It’s not just Guru’s personalised customer service that keeps customers coming in – but also his diverse menu and quality coffee.
“I am a qualified chef and the menu is done by me with food influences from all over the world – Mediterranean, Spanish, restaurant culture.
“We’re here for the people, so people’s feedback about what they like makes us strong. Our coffee is also very consistent.”
There are also some quirky aspects to the décor that harks back to Guru’s Indian origins.
“One day in the beginning of my business when it was quiet I was thinking about as a kid back in our school and we always had sayings on the walls and we’d have a good laugh.
“So if you feel bad, if you read something inspiring or read a motivation quote it gives you a bit of a kick of energy – that was my motive,” he said.
While regional living has been a major lifestyle change for Guru and his wife, they aren’t tempted to return to the ‘big smoke’.
“We go once or twice a month to Melbourne to just appreciate that where we are living is heaven,” laughed Guru.
“We love our life. Albury is big enough. Not too big, not too small, just perfect.”
For more on Guru’s Star Café and Restaurant, 1/449A Dean Street Albury: https://www.facebook.com/starcafeandrestaurant/?rf=501391203243165
Produced by Border Cafe in partnership with AlburyCBD