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Teen fresh out of high school opens a cafe and is heartbroken when it receives no customers

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Teen fresh out of high school opens a cafe and is heartbroken when it receives no customers

An 18-year-old from South Australia has discovered the brutal reality of opening up a small business.

Tom Oswald decided to create a cafe in Handorf, a town south-east of Adelaide.

He put some hard graft and savings into creating the adorable shop.

However, he looked like he was crushed when he opened and not a single customer showed up.


He posted a video expressing his dismay and the clip has gone viral on TikTok.

It has amassed more than two million views and Tom has earned himself loads of online fans.

One person wrote: "We've got a group coming up to Hahndorf in a couple of weeks - we'll come in for coffee!"


Another said: "IM IN ADL!! will be visiting this weekend."

A third added: "Next time I drive through Hahndorf I'll get a coffee or pastry."

Tom worked hard over two years at a different cafe to get some experience in what it was like to run one.

He admitted he wasn't great at making coffee, but he jumped at every opportunity to get on the machine and perfect his craft.


The 18-year-old explained that an ex-neighbour told him there was a paint shop with room for a cafe but they had no one to run it.

The teen decided to challenge himself and take on the responsibility.

While it might not have been the best start to his new business venture, he knew that creating a business wouldn't mean he'd be an overnight success.

“The cafe can get a little bit quiet at times but it is something I fully expect and do not get down about it,” he said to news.com.au.


“Quiet days give me time to reflect and research and busy days teach me the importance of efficiency.”

After becoming a bit of an online celebrity, it looks like all those views and engagement on TikTok have translated to some foot traffic.

In one video, he thanked the 'TikTok customers' for coming in and buying a coffee or a pasty. In another he thanked them for 'keeping the dream alive'.


He left his followers shouting for joy when he posted a clip showing his first customer who came in organically.

Tom said there was another bloke who drove more than an hour just to take photos of the cafe.

He says he's going to stick with it and see what he can learn.

“I am 18 years old, straight out of high school, currently in my gap year and this project is literally the only thing I’m ever working on,” he told News Corp.

“I’m either at the shop working or working from the outside, finding ways I can improve the business in any way I can.”

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/homeboy.co

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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