The Palette Café officially closed its doors last Thursday after almost 10 years of serving tea alongside Gunnedah’s artwork.

Tucked away in Barber Street, it had become a staple for customers who appreciated the aesthetic of the home converted into a café.

The café was originally opened by the late Chris Burgess in 2013, whose passion for photography and artwork drove the café’s launch.

With his partner, Julie Mammen, the place was open to be decorated with art and serve high tea.

Chris passed away in 2017 but Julie carried on his legacy by keeping his dream operating.

His photographs proudly hung on the café’s walls 10 years later.

Erin Van Beeck joined the team a few years after the opening to take on the operations’ side of the business.

Erin ran The Palette Cafe for eight years with Myra Gisbourn, before taking her talents to the Curlewis Commercial Hotel last year.

Myra stayed to run the café with Julie, becoming the heart and soul of the business.

Cherie Wark had been operating behind the scenes in the final 12 months.

When asked why the café was closing, Cherie said: “It has done it’s time”.

The stars had aligned, with Erin leaving a year prior and Myra being offered a job to work alongside her. The café was ready to serve its last cake and take the paintings off the wall.

Regular customers recognised Myra as the passionate face behind the kitchen’s creations for the last six years.

“It has been her baby, she has run it as her own. She has dedicated everything to it. She has put in her heart and soul,” Cherie said.

“And it was all homemade by Myra, that is why they all kept coming back.”

When asked about the highlights of working at the café, Myra said it was the relationships.

“We’ve had birthdays here and anniversaries. We have lost customers in passings, that has been the hard one,” Myra said.

“They are like family. It has been absolutely heartbreaking.

“It hasn’t been a job, as it did not feel like work.” 

The last two weeks had been tough for the staff receiving an overwhelming number of responses on social media after announcing the café’s closure.

“It is very heartwarming to know that so many people love this space, the food, the relationships,” Cherie said.

“We will miss them and they are obviously going to miss us with the outpouring that we had on our social media.”

Jewellery and pottery were featured in the smaller rooms while in others were photographs and artworks. 

The café had worked alongside artists to sell their work on commission. 

“It has definitely enriched our walls and has given all our clientele something to look at,” Cherie said.

“It has made it a unique space; it is something that no other café has had in town.”

The bittersweet moment had left the staff members excited for their new adventures along with the future of the building. 

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