No.4 cafe owners farewell Robe community

The café, No. 4 in Robe closed its doors for the last time on Sunday, as owners Josh Ingham and Michelle Dawson are moving onto other endeavours outside of hospitality.

No.4 opened on April 1, 2015, and has been known for providing their own unique blend of coffee and offering a relaxed, dog friendly venue.

Josh and Michelle moved to Robe from Melbourne to open the cafe, with the desire to deliver a food and wine experience that showcased the Limestone Coast.

"The Limestone Coast is home to so many talented people and it was important to us to be able to incorporate local produce and art into the No.4 story," Michelle said.

"One of the greatest pleasures we've had over our time owning No.4, has been getting to know the local suppliers and artists - We'll be forever grateful for their support."

The two had a dream to reinvigorate the outdoor area into a place where people could kick back and relax with their food and wine.

In 2017 the team undertook renovations and turned the outdoor area from a staff carpark into an eclectic wine garden.

Josh noted that summer 2017/18 was a "bumper" year for No.4.

"We had always envisaged the outdoor area to be a space where people - and pooches - could kick back and relax and that's exactly what we achieved," Josh said.

"We were thrilled to see how the locals and visitors embraced the changes we made."

Over the years the team have enjoyed hosting private events - including two weddings.

The couple reflected on what owning No.4 has meant to them, explaining how they believe they've developed a space where people could come together and take time out, creating shared memories and escaping "the daily grind".

They also believe they have built an environment where their employees and their children have become family.

However the rising costs of doing business, coupled with the increased competition in the town, meant that Michelle and Josh had to make some tough decisions.

2018 was a challenging year for the couple and while it was heartbreaking for them to close the doors on No.4 - they knew it was the right thing to do.

Josh and Michelle said that the most rewarding part of their business has been building a connection with their loyal team and customers.

"We will absolutely miss them all," Michelle said. "It's been a privilege sharing in their day to day lives and we feel incredibly grateful to know - that in our small way - we've made a difference."

The couple thank the Robe and the Limestone Coast community for their support over the last four years.