Making its mark on the hospitality scene in Toowoomba, the new Stellarossa has pledged to set itself apart from the rest.

Director Helaina Bench has owned cafes all around Queensland and New South Wales, but after spotting a Stellarossa branch near her former home at Mt Tamborine, decided to give the franchise a go when she moved back to Toowoomba with her family this year.

“I realised that it is really hard work for an independent operator and to have a bit of support from a brand was a beautiful idea especially at this scale of establishment,” she said.

Mrs Bench said the difference with Stellarossa as a franchise was the freedom it gives owners and staff to craft their own menus, and support local business as well.

“You’re allowed to support local suppliers and make your own cakes and use local fruit and veggies and local meat suppliers,” she said.

“The coffee is all ethically directly sourced from the farmers so it just had a bit of an edge to it that I felt was great.”

Stellarossa opened last Friday and is already on its way to becoming a “pearl” in Toowoomba’s hospitality scene, according to Mrs Bench.

Above all, however, quality of service remains the priority for the team.

Mrs Bench said she has been passionate about the high quality, “Stella standard” of service from the get-go.

The cafe features a kid-friendly area, and fully trained baristas who have received specific training for the “Stella standard”.

Another priority for the director, and something that made her fall in love with hospitality when she was just starting out at age 16, is the personal touch to customer service.

“I like the service aspect of it,” Mrs Bench said.

“I like taking care of people when they come in and feeling like you’re really looking after them, and have them leaving feeling cared for.”

Stellarossa is located at the Bernoth Centre on Ruthven Street.

Originally published as What gives new Toowoomba coffee shop the ‘edge’