Monday, 06 July 2020


Colenso Cafe really just history continuing

Colenso Cafe really just history continuing

On Tuesday last week Andy and Ruth Pettit handed over the keys of their iconic Colenso Café to Gary and Judy Inglis, the new owners, and it was business as usual. Gary and Judy are no strangers on the Mercury Bay hospitality scene, having owned Smitty’s Sports Bar and Grill in Whitianga for many years. How come then have they sold Smitty’s and bought something similar? “The two businesses are actually quite different,” answered Judy. “We wanted to get away from the Smitty’s hours, especially the
long nights. We didn’t have Smitty’s on the market for long before it sold. We were somewhat taken by surprise and really didn’t have an idea what we were going to do next.

We certainly didn’t plan to retire. “Friends told us about Colenso. We immediately thought it could work. It’s a very good business and it’s well run. It’s the sort of business we could just walk into and continue as if nothing really happened. The hours are better and there’s an opportunity for our daughter, who’s working as a chef on a super yacht at the moment, to join us later this year.”

And the extra pair of hands in the kitchen really is one of only two things that will be different. The other is a new back-office system, one Gary and Judy are more familiar with. Other than that, it’s the same good food, the same range of artworks and gifts and still local ownership. It’s really just history continuing.


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