Small Business Grant helps Drummer Boy Café set up in Port Adelaide

A combination of experience and courage has led Libby Eastwood and Michael Ryan to open one of the fastest-growing new businesses in Port Adelaide.

Drummer Boy Café opened in November 2016, with the help of a $20,000 Small Business Development Fund grant, and they haven’t looked back.

Libby said opening the café wasn’t an easy decision, but the process was made simpler with the help of the grant and support from the Department of State Development (DSD) in completing the application.

“Applying for the start-up grant was a fairly simple process and DSD was really helpful with changes,” Libby said.

“We used the grant to help us fit out the space here in Port Adelaide with the things we needed to get started. It was fun seeing the process and setting up the place”.

Growing in popularity since it opened, Michael said they are hopeful the increased activity currently visible across the Port will have a positive impact for Drummer Boy Café.

“Business has been improving since we opened in November, especially on Sundays,” Michael said.

“Although we weren’t relying on it when starting the business, we are definitely hoping the increased activity in the Port such as the new apartments and construction underway will help us grow.

“We have already employed three part-time staff to help us out at the Café, and we hope to give more job seekers an opportunity to gain experience and employment if we continue to grow.

“Ultimately if we keep getting busier, we would like to give back to the community by giving people the chance to get hospitality experience and training through our café – similar to what Bar 9 did with their outreach program in Whitmore Square”.

When asked what advice they would give other businesses looking to apply for a start-up grant, Michael said it is important to make sure you have some kind of experience in the area and to understand what you’re getting in to.

“Combined, Libby and I probably have 35 years of hospitality experience,” Michael said.

“I am comfortable working in kitchens, and Libby has significant experience in bars and cafes.

“Although we never thought we would want to open our own business as it’s pretty daunting, we just had the right mindset and wanted to make it work because we’ve made so many other people’s businesses work day after day.

“We thought we don’t have to change our ethic; we just have to change our location.

“Customer service can be challenging, but we really enjoy it. People like having good service and a good vibe, and that’s what we are about here at Drummer Boy Café”.

Drummer Boy café is located at 132 St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide. The café is open Monday to Friday 6.30am – 3.00pm and Sundays 9.00am – 2.00pm.

Further information

See the Small Business Development Fund