Just two years ago, Molly May's in Manilla threw open its doors and has been going from strength to strength ever since, showing resilience and resolve in the face of drought.
Known for the 'ultimate milkshakes' and old-school service and charm, the cafe has become more of a destination than "just another store", and that was precisely what owners Sonya and Rodney Sevil had planned.
Last year, the business became the first outside of Tamworth to lift up the Small Business gong at the Quality Tamworth Business Awards, and after being named as a nominee for a second time, are out to defend the title.
"We love our shop, and love that it promotes Manilla - it has a lot to offer," Mrs Sevil said.
"It was pretty amazing to win last year, and a good acknowledgement that we were going the right way, but now the pressure is on to keep going the right way, and keep our reputation."
As any business owner in the region could attest, the past two years have been a hard slog, and it has been no different for the Sevils, who in a small town employ four junior and five senior staff.
"We have had to really think outside the box to keep going at times, and we have had to cut back staff and cut back hours which is unfortunate," Mrs Sevil said.
"But our staff are as committed to the store as we are, and while I teach the juniors a lot, I also learn a lot from them as well."
The family have operated Manilla Meats for 21 years, so know the traditional service industry inside out, while daughter Kirra is the brains behind the 'ultimate milkshakes', as well as their social media presence and modern day fusion of ideas.
"Without staff you haven't got a business, and without customers you haven't got a business, so it is very important to treat both with respect, and listen to what they want," Mrs Sevil said.
"We started with a fruit and veg shop and a little cafe, but realised we needed a point of difference - we don't even have fruit and veg anymore.
"People drive here from Gunnedah, Tamworth and other places to go to Molly May's as a destination, which is great - it is an experience not just another shop, and we want to keep providing that experience."
The finalists for the Tamworth Business Awards will be announced on Saturday in the Leader, before the Gala Awards night on August 9. Tickets are available via the Tamworth Business Chamber.