Nearly a year ago (on September 8), Anthony Ivey opened the doors to his new doughnut store, Shortstop Coffee & Donuts on Sutherland Street in the CBD. It exploded – both on Instagram and with queues out the door. Its display cases were repeatedly reduced to crumbs. The demand was relentless. Five days later, his daughter Hazel was born.
Broadsheet: Tell us about Hazel, what’s she like?
Anthony Ivey: Hazel's very cheeky, very happy and energetic. She loves eating and taking selfies.
BS: Give us a snapshot from the inside of your brain on the day she was born.
AI: We had just finished our first week of trading at Shortstop. It was a Friday afternoon around 4pm that my wife called me and told me she had commenced the first stages of labour. My head began spinning as I madly rushed around, wrapping up the shop. I had been working 16-hour days in the first week, but the first Friday was the most hectic, requiring a 2am start to make sure we could fulfil the crazy number of pre-orders we had received.
Erica's water broke at 10pm, we rushed to the Royal Women's and nine hours later Hazel was born. To be honest, I dozed in and out for most of the labour. Erica is incredibly tough and hardly made a sound and I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life. I think I was in a bit of a daze from lack of sleep, but her arrival felt almost dream-like.
BS: What was it like trying to run a new business (especially one that was popular from the start) and raise your first child at the same time?
AI: I can't imagine doing it without the help of our parents. Everyone around us was so supportive and it meant I could give Shortstop the time it needed to get on its feet, while managing to squeeze in time to give Hazel a bath and a quick story time every night.
BS: How has having your first kid changed your work routine?
AI: I think without Hazel, I probably wouldn't take a day off. I now make sure I take every Thursday off, to take Hazel to her swimming classes.
BS: How is your social life different?
AI: What social life? I can't imagine anyone in my position managing to make time for a social life. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!
BS: What does she do that makes you laugh?
AI: Hazel is quite playful and loves to mimic us (or other things) – whether by clearing her throat in an over exaggerated way (with a cheeky grin) or by mimicking the sound of the coffee grinder in the morning.
BS: What’s her biggest milestone to date?
AI: She started saying a few words a couple of months ago and she recently took her first few steps!
BS: What’s one thing that’s surprised you about being a dad?
AI: Your life changes instantly. Someone else has become the most important person in your life and your greatest happiness is experienced through their happiness and achievements.
BS: Does she like doughnuts?
AI: Hazel has tried homemade baked blueberry doughnuts before, but she hasn't quite graduated to the real deal yet. She is quite active as it is now, I can't imagine what sugar would do to her!
BS: How are you spending Father’s Day?
AI: Shortstop opens a little later on the weekends, so I will have the chance to lay around in bed a little and have breakfast with my family before I head to work. We don't live too far from the shop, so I'm hoping Erica and Hazel will find the time to stop by during the day.