Anyone can make a cup of coffee, Tennille Hawkins says, but not everyone can make a great cup of coffee.
The Cambridge Raceway barista has made thousands of cups since her first 15 years ago and tomorrow (Thursday) she will resist any pressure to cut corners at The Race meeting.
Punters, trainers, owners and drivers regularly make a beeline for the old ticket booth where the 34-year-old mixes her coffee making skills with the marketing savvy she learned after leaving high school.
“You’ve got to listen to your customers, engage with them while at the same time using good techniques to make the best coffee.
“It’s all about the customer.”
She is excited about the event which is the first harness racing slot race in Australasia and New Zealand’s richest standardbred race with a stake of $900,000.
During the week she helped The Raceway’s promotion team, handing out brochures and fliers around town to get the punters along.
It has been a while since anyone asked her where she got her name from, she says in response to The News’ query.
Most who work at The Raceway are too young to remember Captain and Tennille with their 1975 chart topper “Love Will Keep Us Together.”
It was a favourite of Tennille’s mother Jennifer Patton who with her husband Ian founded Jennian Homes in 1982.
Tennille was born in the old Cambridge maternity home, moved away to Hamilton with her parents and came back to town in 2016 with daughter Kaia, now seven.
Married to Dean Hawkins, who co-owns Wentwood Grange, the couple have a blended family with Dean’s son Liam, 11, and their 21-month-old son Jack.
Kaia, who goes to Goodwood School, has watched her mother make that many cups of coffee she dreams of being a barista herself one day.
Still Self Assured