Performer turns history into award-winning venture
By SHIRLEY BROUN
COOKING up a night of food, fun and top entertainment is the speciality of effervescent personality Toni Stevens.
Multi-talented performer Toni Stevens has successfully managed to combine her career as a much-loved comedienne, singer, guitarist, theatre restaurant producer and actress with her passion for helping others.
It is a skill that has been applauded on many occasions and it was also acknowledged by her showbiz peers when she was awarded the John Campbell Fellowship Award at the annual Australian Entertainment MO Awards in 1998 for services to the industry and her charity work.
Toni’s infectious humour, vocals and acting abilities make her the life of the party whether it be while sharing the stage as support artist to the likes of Tom Jones, Bill Haley, Val Doonican or Morecambe and Wise or alternatively, singing a chorus of Waltzing Matilda while serving up a lunch time treat at her own unique venue, Aunty Molly’s Olde Bakehouse Restaurant at NSW’s Morriset about 111kms north of Sydney.
Steeped in history
Aunty Molly’s has emerged as one of Lake Macquarie area’s most revered dining outlets, one which is steeped in history evident in every nook and cranny of its restored architecture.
The bakehouse is believed to have been first established as early as 1894 and after several owners the bakery was closed down in the early sixties and subsequently used for various purposes, mainly an antique shop, then discount wares until Toni and her husband Jim purchased it in 1989. “We worked tirelessly to restore this quaint old property, bringing it back to its former glory and initially ran a furniture and antiques business,” said Toni.
From tea shop to theatre restaurant
Then, in 1991, Toni opened a small 24-seater Tea Shop to compliment the antique business. As the outlet’s popularity grew so too did the Tea Shop which was transformed into a restaurant and then, as an extension of Toni’s professional career as an entertainer, into a Theatre Restaurant.
Toni has produced five CD’s designed to cover the complete range of themes presented at Aunty Molly’s.
Although work still continues on the Olde Bakehouse, its beautiful gardens and restored building look resplendent and provide a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for the many visitors who flock to the venue each year. “I am delighted that many of our customers are able to enjoy delicious food 7 days a week and many weddings and private parties are now being held here,” said Toni. “The Stables Café, thus named because it is where the horses were bridled and made ready for deliveries, is one of two fully air conditioned restaurants enjoyed by diners.”
Since Toni first held shows once a week for various pensioner groups seeking an entertaining lunch out in the multi-award winning venue’s early days, patrons of all ages are now enjoying full theatre restaurant productions guaranteed to deliver fun and laughter to every audience. It is what Australian Entertainment MO Award winner Toni does best.
Keep an eye out for Toni Stevens on the Princess Cruises and at your local club too. This talented performer loves her profession and somehow manages to successfully combine her commitments at Aunty Molly’s Olde Bakehouse with an equally demanding performance schedule.Tweet