When Stacks Burger House & Eatery officially opens in Kiama Downs on Friday it will be a big reason to smile for the owners after a challenging few years.
Jason and Emma Young moved to Kiama Downs from Sydney four years ago, after working in painting, hotel and events industries.
They initially looked at Wollongong before stumbling on their dream home further south.
However it was then that Mr Young was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Not long after, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour which he was told was benign and slow growing.
Yet when more symptoms starting presenting, he returned to his specialist just a few weeks before the couple’s second baby was due.
He was given the distressing news that the tumour had in fact grown rapidly – tripling in size.
Work was advanced on the new eatery, and the couple made the decision to postpone the operation until after the baby was born.
When Lenny arrived as a little brother to Georgie, 2, Mr Young had just a few weeks to bond with his new son before undergoing surgery.
The tumour was successfully removed, but it took a little while for Mr Young to rehabilitate and regain his balance after losing his hearing in one ear.
With family support, the couple remained motivated to open Stacks as soon as possible after a major refurbishment.
They’ve spent the past six months transforming the former Kiama Downs Bakery into a 100-seat licensed cafe.
It will initially open from 7am to 4pm most days until Christmas and then till 9pm from Thursday to Sunday in the New Year.
The couple had plenty of reason to smile on Wednesday when they held a soft opening prior to the official launch.
Despite the bad weather on Wednesday, the couple and some of the 15 people they have employed were kept busy serving up 75 meals to rave reviews.
Mrs Young said they made it through the busy time with fantastic support from family and now “are really excited and very passionate about the product we are bringing to the South Coast”.
“We are so thankful for our wonderful community,” she said.
“It has shown us just how great and supportive the Kiama Downs community is and one of the reasons why we choose to raise our young family here.”
Stacks is located at 21 Johnson St, Kiama Downs in view of, and just a short walk to, Jones Beach.
The new cafe features farm-to-plate wholesome food, local produce, coffee from Drumroll Coffee Roasters as well as Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson’s craft beer 'Balter’.