Cafe launches petition in bid to stop chef leaving for Germany
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A Norfolk café has set up a petition in a last-ditch attempt to stop one of its chefs moving abroad to be with his long-term girlfriend.
Yaxham Waters Café chef, Ian Hanser, plans to move to Germany to be with Stephanie Berg, a newly qualified doctor.
To try to convince one of his best chefs to stay, café owner Pablo Dimoglou had to get creative after offers of a pay rise and all-expenses- paid snowboarding trip were turned down.
Mr Dimoglou has run newspaper adverts to get the community behind the petition and raise the 5,000 signatures needed to get Mr Hanser to reconsider his decision.
The advert read: 'Ian wants to move to Germany to be with his beautiful true love, Steffi. We're selfish and want him to stay for his second love, COOKING!'
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Mr Dimoglou said: 'Ian is absolutely amazing and everyone loves him. In the time he's been here he has doubled the trade to our café.'
Mr Hanser, 35, who started at Yaxham Waters almost two years
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ago, said: 'I have always enjoyed cooking. I love customer service too and the open kitchen at the café means I can serve and talk to customers as well.'
But, having been in a long-distance relationship for the last five years, Mr Hanser feels the time is right to settle down with his girlfriend in her home country.
He said: 'The time has come to end my bachelor lifestyle! We've spoken about having a family and it's now crunch time. I'm really excited and I'm looking forward to coming home every night to my girl – I've never had that before.
'Customers have come and said true love is hard to find, so I have to go for it.'
Mr Hanser has been offered a position at the Hilton in Koblenz, but said it will be hard to leave Yaxham Waters Café.
'There's nothing like going to work where you're respected and treated well. The company has made me feel very much at home,' he
The news of the petition tugged on Mr Hanser's heart strings and has tempted him to stay. 'To have someone put so much effort into you is more than emotional, I have never had someone show me so much respect. It makes it harder to leave.'
And it seems there is a glimmer of hope for the café. Mr Hanser said if the petition reaches 5,000 signatures, he may delay his move to Germany for six months to help with future expansion plans.
He said: 'It's a tug of war with my heart, but I have to follow Steffi. The things we do for love.'
So far, the petition has about 140 signatures.
In the time he's been here he has doubled the trade to our café.