Returning home to Cornwall from Ireland aged 26, Rhiannon changed her career direction from archaeology into hospitality. She took the helm of a cafe in a vacant unit built on the father’s farmland in the picturesque rural North Helford.
As the first owner of the venue it took determination and persistence to open such a venture in its rural location and built a regular customer following. The first two years it was mostly catered and served by Rhiannon herself. Eventually the business expanded enough to add to the service team with a variety of personnel but many of the weekend team have been sourced from willing local teenagers who are looking for their first job.
“It has been a privilege to develop and train them to see the confident and skilled young ladies leave our business into other roles or further studies”
Helping the future of the community has been at the heart of Rhiannon’s ethos for the Waymarker where social events and fundraisers have focused on helping improvements or maintainance of local facilities or services important to a balanced neighbourhood.
Eventually trade built enough that the team could expand to include the current chef Kevin, who had met Rhiannon while they both lived in Plymouth back in 2002. Since then the team have hosted many birthday and wedding functions, with two of those brides actually later becoming members of staff on an occasional basis.
Coming up with fresh and exciting cream tea options was a speciality of Rhiannon, for which they were crowned as champion “Truly Cornish Cream Tea” in 2014. With Rhiannon as proprietor, the The Waymarker team have since received many awards with 3years of Cornwall Tourism Awards success and one from the SouthWest Tourism Awards.
Running such a business involves Rhiannon wearing many hats, with a flexible management approach to get the best out of a range of age groups who have been employed at The Waymarker to adapting to social media needs and encouraging a welcoming and engaging environment for the wide range of customers who frequent the cafe.
” Inspiring women can be around any corner or behind any countertop where they might influence the future generation of the workforce in their own small way. Bravo to those women who are setting the bar high for aspiring business owners or entrepreneurs !”