What do you enjoy most about working the local community?
I think that Brunswick has a great culture about it. The people are so lovely and I have formed great friendships with some of the locals.
How did you end up working in the hospitality industry?
To be honest, my husband and my best friend, Helen. They wanted to open a café business and here we are! I think it was a great idea, I really enjoy working within the industry very much. It wasn’t always good at making friends in the past, however, since we opened up Degani’s at Barkly Square I have seen a different side of me and I am making heaps of friends who I will remain in touch with.
Why do you think your regular customers always come back?
I think my regular customers come back because we have a friendly and caring vibe throughout the café. Our staff members demonstrate excellent customer service and I think that’s very important. We go the extra mile to get to know our customers.
How do you unwind after a hard day’s work?
After a hard day’s work I love to just sit on the couch with a cup of tea and watch a movie or TV series that I’ve taped. If I have a day or two off I love going down to my beach house and relaxing in front of the fire place in winter. In summer I love sitting on the sand, watching the water and not thinking of anything else. It’s so relaxing, I love it!
What is your favourite comfort food?
Gemista! It’s a Greek dish that I absolutely love. It’s vegies like tomato, capsicum or eggplant stuffed with a mixture that consists of rice, mince, beautiful herds and spices then baked in the oven. So, so good!
Do you have any special talents or bad habits?
My bad habits would be needing to do all my work on the one day. I can’t go to bed know I have work to do. That’s when “grumpy Irene” comes out.
My special talent is playing tennis. I love being outdoors on the tennis courts with friends or playing competition. My heart was to become a professional tennis player, but my mother didn’t allow it.
Can you share something you love to cook at home?
I love cooking Greek food in general as well as Greek sweets as that is what I love to eat. There is a particular Greek sweet called Galatobouriko which I love to make. It’s pastry filled with semolina, custard and topped with a yummy syrup. It just melts in your mouth. I want some just now just thinking about it.