Term 1 2023
Last Thursday the Year 11 Work Studies class visited Melba’s Bakehouse and spoke with proprietor Drew Adams. Drew is the patriarch of the family and spoke about his passion and the joy he gets from running a family-owned business with his wife Maxine, sons Aiden and Keegan, and daughter Whitney.
Students had a fantastic time learning all about the hospitality industry. Drew spoke about the importance of diversifying their business model with a range of different products and services, such as accommodation and the bakery service they provide around the region, alongside the Café. This was particularly beneficial during the COVID pandemic and allowed their business to continue to thrive and keep staff employed.
Students learned about the humble beginnings of Melba’s, which started from a foray into hospitality when the Adams family took over a foreclosed Pizza business in the Turvey Park shopping centre. Drew said, “having established the confidence that we could work in hospitality as a family, we then opened The Borough, a highly successful burger joint and bar – just a few doors up from where Melba’s is today."
Students were extremely thankful to Drew for his generous time and insights into his industry, and his willingness to spend valuable time answering students’ questions. They learned about the various characteristics of successful employees and the different roles that people work in hospitality, such as Barista, Point of Sale, Chef, Baker, Front of House, Wait Staff, Cleaners, Juniors, Accommodation and Financial coordinators.
Drew said that one of his secrets to success in managing a team was due to his approach to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace - “I employ people of all abilities and backgrounds, and I treat all employees like family and enjoy getting my hands dirty with any job required”.
Student Isabella Sgroi said: “I liked that there was a positive staff culture evident in the way that workers respected each other and helped each other out in any role”.
Drew also gave students insight into another industry he has established a local business enterprise in – the Community Services Industry. Drew has recently established Empower Riverina – an NDIS provider supporting people with their mental health, and he shared his vision of establishing a Disability Café to enable people living with a disability an entry point into hospitality with customised training and career pathways.
Student Hailey Gillard commented “I was surprised that people living with a disability are often paid less than other workers, even if they complete the same tasks. I love that Drew employs people living with a disability in his own businesses and pays them above what their ‘classification’ is.”