Another year of coffee, comfort and community
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Mrs. Nisa Walker at the café on Saturday
Mrs. Nisa Walker at the café on Saturday

— Oasis Café celebrates 16th anniversary

IN celebrating its 16th anniversary since its opening, the Oasis Café on Carmichael Street in Georgetown is privileged to have trusted staff who keep it going according to the standards of the owners William and Nisa Walker.

Speaking with the Chronicle on Saturday, Mrs. Walker reflected on her recent period of illness with the coronavirus and said the café could not have continued in operation without the diligent efforts of three of her staff, particularly Alexis, Gail and Sonia.

“Our trusted staff did a phenomenal job in running the place exactly how we wanted them to. It was in good hands and that’s what kept Oasis going,” she expressed.

Mrs. Walker, having now fully recovered from the illness she thought would have taken her life, is happy to be back in the café. She always makes it a practice to walk around and ensure that her customers are doing well.

She shared that while new plans are brewing for the café, she does not want to spoil the surprise for now, but will release more information in the coming months. “The 16th year of Oasis Cafe was in some ways the hardest. Having already lost many friends and family to the pandemic, I am grateful that I can simply draw a breath,” she said.

She and her family had moved back to Guyana from New York and really missed the good coffees and hangout spots that they enjoyed in Manhattan. Having gotten tired of asking friends and relatives to bring back coffee beans for them, they decided, ‘Why not let’s get our own and offer it to others at the same time?’ And that’s how Oasis Café all got started.

Mrs. Walker believes that they’ve been able to maintain high standards at the café because of the commitment they made to themselves and staff– that everyone would be treated equally.

“We know how hard our staff works [sic] and so we treat them like family. And some of my best friendships have been cultivated with my customers. They are no longer customers, they’re family,” she expressed, adding, “We want to be a source of comfort to our customers, so they can be sure that here is a safe and hygienic place; safety is the most important thing.”

Having started with just four workers, the business grew to include about 25, just prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs. Walker said the best thing for her is hearing her customers’ laughter in the café. “Everyone here should feel like it’s the extension of their living room where they can let go of their troubles and just relax. You come through the door and your loneliness goes away, because there’s always someone here to make you feel better.”

The café offers breakfast and lunch, along with afternoon teas, cakes and pastries.

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