New Era for Coal Rock Café


If there was one thing Donna Valentine didn’t think she would ever have to do as a café owner is to make a coffee with a triple shot, six sugars on almond milk.

Jokes aside, the coffee orders over recent years have become something Donna has had to concentrate on with those orders attuned to a more delicately precise palate these days.  However, from now on, her mind can relax.

Donna and her mum, Pam Baxter, have sold their successful Coal Rock Café in Singleton after a significantly successful 28 years.

Father and son team, Peter and John Hyde, have purchased Coal Rock and were listening very closely to Donna’s advice as the handover took place.

“People just love our seafood melt and I have suggested to Peter and John that they keep it because it certainly is popular,” Donna told The Hunter River Times last week.

“People also love our thickshakes and our chips and gravy so I suggest they’ll be staying too,” she said.

The decision to sell didn’t come easily and it is the customers that Donna will miss the most.

“They are like family, we have laughed together, cried together, celebrated special occasions and this is what I will miss the most,” Donna said.

Donna’s husband, Wayne, has been a strong supporter and always helping out being paid in thickshakes along the way.

“The shop has been good to us and we sincerely hope the new owners have as much success as we have,” Donna said.

Donna and Pam have seen many changes at the mall including the $64million redevelopment and said construction saw them relocate their café from one space to another and their loyal customers followed them in the droves.

At times they have employed up to 19 staff and almost all the family have spent some time waiting tables during the 28 years.

“We have had some wonderful, loyal staff, some who have been with us a long time and we thank them for that,” Donna said.

“And we thank our customers very, very much.”