The all-consuming nature of small business means spare time is at a premium for Vicki, especially during the busy summer months. "It takes up a lot of time. I've got family, I have two children who go to school and I don't actually have too much time to spend with them. Sometimes I work up to 17 hours during the summertime. You have to. You can't ask your workers to stay longer with you every day so I have to be there to pick up the extra load. As a small business you have to work harder. The extra hours I do get during the winter is spent with my family."
The pull factor of Lyall Bay for Vicki, and many others, is the environment - being so close to the beach and seeing people enjoying the natural environment with friends and family is something Vicki gets a real kick out of "Being able to service this type of setting is what I enjoy. I feel like Lyall Bay is my home now, I can't leave. I can't run away from my customers. My family say you have to close for one day to relax but I just feel a bit guilty because my customers are waiting at the door, haha. So that's what keeps me going. They are what drive me to get up in the morning."
When quizzed about her ideal day in Lyall Bay Vicky paints the picture of what would appear to be that of her customer's - "When customers come in and mention how beautiful it is outside I feel it too and I enjoy it. I have a lot of customers and a lot of my customers become my friends. You have to be a friendly person and be open to everybody. I find out a lot about my customers, what's going on in their life etc. That's what I enjoy most." - a testament to the selflessness of a woman who goes above and beyond the calls of customers service.
After so long behind the counter you wouldn't blame Vicki for wanting to hand over the reins and put up her feet, but Vicki seems quite content to keep going - "I'm happy to be a part of this community and will continue to provide my best fish and chips, hamburgers, Chinese and ice creams for my valued customers. I'm happy to stay here and do my best. I'm happy for myself that I can still work and run my own business. I'm lucky. I still have the strength to work, so I will keep going"
So next time you're on the Parade be sure to pay Vicki a visit and grab yourself an ice cream while you're at it.