Cafe operator’s negotiations continue after 18 months

Woy Woy Oval

A Peninsula cafe operator who successfully tendered for the lease of the cafe outside the new Woy Woy Oval says she has been attempting to finalise the terms of the lease for more than 18 months.
Ms Gabby Greyem, operator of Jasmine Greens Kiosk at Umina, said she was chosen as the successful tenderer by Central Coast Council in February last year.
She said she was promised a draft final lease within a month, but the draft lease did not arrive until October last year.
“In October 2016, I was given a brand new 57-page lease that included a clause that my rent would go up by 400 per cent within the first 12 months.”
Ms Greyem said she was still in negotiations with Council and was still hopeful she would be able to operate the cafe at Woy Woy Oval.
“Council has now said they will only negotiate with me on the original lease agreement that was in the tender and that still has the graffiti and glass breakage clauses in it,” she said.
Ms Greyem said the clauses would make her responsible for the replacement of broken glass and for graffiti removal.
She said she believed both of those should be the responsibility of the landlord, Central Coast Council.
“It has been a stalemate for two years and it is embarrassing that I haven’t been able to open the cafe for business,” she said.
“The lease on Jasmine Greens took six months to negotiate and I expected the same process or perhaps it would be a bit faster because we all knew what we were doing the second time.”
Mr Greyem said she had 19 existing employees and had a successful sustainable approach to business that she believed she could replicate at the Woy Woy Oval cafe.
“I won the tender and Council has not been able to fulfil its obligations within the timeframe but I do not want an onerous lease,” she said.
Central Coast Council has told Peninsula News that the onus is on Ms Greyem to sign the lease in its current form.

Interview, 8 Nov 2017
Gabby Greyem, Jasmine Greens Kiosk