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Peck of the bunch: Purple Weka Cafe

Wekas are known as cheeky food-stealing birds, but at Purple Weka Café & Bar, the food is the one stealing the show. Teamed with a welcoming atmosphere and impeccable service, this is one local hospitality hotspot worth adding to your 2021 to-do list.



Owner Stewart McDougall says the fare is made on-site with fresh ingredients (including house-made jams and relish) and serves up time-honoured favourites.

“Our food is quite traditional and all cooked on the premises apart from some pies,” he says. “Our most popular dish is the savoury mince served with a soft poached egg, or the creamy mushrooms served with bacon on grilled ciabatta.”

Much like the playful bird, the atmosphere at the Purple Weka is fun and friendly.

“Our café is a fun place to visit, often with peals of laughter coming from the diners interacting with the team,” says Stewart.

Add some Purple Weka magic to your next meal out, or enquire about catering for your next event.

You’ll find them at 48 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch.

Phone orders are welcome on (03) 366 0258 or browse the menu online.


Delicious duo: One Ninety Nine

Only one hour from Christchurch, one ninety nine is a café and espresso bar that’s tucked into an alleyway at 199 Burnett Street, Ashburton.



“We’ve been told there’s a definite Wellington and Wanaka vibe going on here, so that speaks volumes,” says owners Gareth and Jamie Cadogan.

Gareth and wife Jamie have worked in the hospitality industry for the past 17 years; they ran cafes in Oamaru before opening one ninety nine in July 2020.

A personal, hands-on service is paramount to this hard-working couple; apart from one other staff member, it’s Gareth and Jamie manning the cabinets and counter, preparing menu food, pouring espressos, and making the delicious, locally sourced food onsite.

“One ninety nine was born from a love of outstanding coffee, amazing food and a passion for hospitality,” says Gareth.


Catering is another major component to the business – from corporate events, workplace morning or afternoon teas, a special anniversary celebration or Christmas function, nothing is considered too big or too small.

There’s even a dedicated family space. “As the parents of four kids ourselves, we know how great it feels to enjoy five minutes with a coffee and delicious food, and let kids be kids with zero worries!”

Check out the café on Instagram, phone (03) 307 7477 or email


On route: Route 72 Cafe & Emporium

It can only be called a complete experience – not simply a cafe and a store, but a destination with so much variety and pizzazz you need hours to take it all in. Set in the quaint and picturesque village of Cust is Route 72 Cafe & Emporium, a country cafe/ bar and retail outlet.


Marrying tempting culinary dishes with an impressive range of gifts, clothing and other treasures – there can be few more enticing rural spots for an end of year group or workplace celebration.

It’s just a 40-minute drive out of the city to this relaxing environment.

Choose from the extensive menu for breakfast, brunch or lunch while dining upstairs and admiring the stunning views over the Cust River and valley and to the mountains beyond.

Replete with the delicious food, you can hit the shop – and what a shop it is, a real Aladdin’s Cave.

Christmas gifts for the whole family are here – everything from art and homewares, to candles, skincare, gemstone jewellery, shoes and handbags.

Are you a lover of quality fabrics? Then the Helga May clothing range of mainly Italian linen is for you.

It’s a unique linen range that is “edgy”, utilising bright colours and prints that are a little bit different.

Discover this North Canterbury gem at 1697 Cust Road. Phone (03) 312 5595.


Bright & vibrant in Rangiora: The Station

A curated selection of giftware, clothing and jewellery bring a fresh offering to Rangiora at The Station Café and Shop.


The former train station turned café and beautiful gift store is under the new ownership of Steve and Vivienne King who have lived in and loved the North Canterbury area for two years now.

Vivienne says the store was an opportunity to offer something a little different, with its stylish mix of refined-bohemian clothing, including much loved Australian label, Olga de Polga, as well as Down Lights candles, Linda Tahija jewellery and locally repurposed furniture.

“We wanted to provide a point of difference in Rangiora” she says. “I love vibrant colours, patterns and designs, which is evident in the clothing, homeware and giftware in our shop.”

With the season of giving well and truly on our doorstep, it’s an opportune time to head to 2 Blackett Street, Rangiora and browse the beautiful selection for yourself.

The gift shop of course compliments the café, which serves fresh Allpress coffee, an exciting breakfast and lunch menu along with a delicious deli cabinet food selection.

The Station is also available for functions, from birthday parties to work events, or to celebrate the end of 2020 or start of 2021.


Market-ing the local coffee shop: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot

She opened her café amidst a global pandemic, and the community support has been so great for this 18-year-old Christchurch woman, she is now using her profile to promote other small local business.


Izzy Leighs opened Izzy’s Café and Coffee Bar on Bealey Avenue in June, after Covid-19 disrupted her plans to travel and work at a summer camp in the US.

Serving barista-made Switch Espresso, Fairlie Bakehouse Pies, Grizzly Baked Goods, Pure Wholefoods and other fare – Izzy’s has been a hot spot for locals.

Now, the teen – who finished secondary school at St Margaret’s College just last year, is opening a Saturday morning market at the site to help other small local businesses, too.

Izzy’s Artisan Market has around 20 local artisan stalls selling pre-loved vintage, thrift and high-end clothing, jewellery, handmade art and wax and soap products, herbal and eco goods and delicious loaves of fresh bread.

Izzy says she wants to create a fun weekend event for the local community.

“There are so many great people who live in our area, and so many talented local people who sell, re-work and make products that we think people will love to see and buy.”

A portion of profits will also be donated to Izzy and her team’s favourite local art producers, SCAPE Public Art.

Visit for more information.

Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


Thorough-bread catering: Halswell Bakery

Whether you’re hosting an event or planning a boot party at the races, the talented team at Halswell Bakery can provide fresh, delicious catering to suit your requirements.



From tasty club sandwich platters, bacon and egg slice, quiche and savouries to custom-made birthday cakes, donuts and sweet treats, everything is freshly handmade on site.

With a focus on fast, friendly and efficient service, the team want you to know that they are here to help.

“We go by the motto ‘simply delicious and deliciously simple’ – we don’t do fancy food, just good tasty, wholesome food,” says owner Ruth Buckley.

Check out their website for the catering menu (online ordering coming soon), or phone or email to find out more.


Somewhere cosy: Cosy Café

The quintessential neighbourhood café, every community should have a Cosy Café. Locally owned and operated by Sam and Amy Lester, the couple celebrate their first year in the café this November.

Amy has a background in retail – her rapport with regulars and new customers comes naturally, while Sam has changed careers and uncovered a spectacular natural talent for cooking and baking.

Full breakfast and lunch are on the menu as well as cabinet food with almost all of it created on site.

“Our scones and muffins are always popular and go down perfectly with the Hummingbird coffee that we serve the way you like it,” says Amy.

Sam’s favourite items are the famous Fairlie Pies. “We stock them in four flavours: Pork belly, Steak, Steak and Mushroom and Mince and Cheese,” he says.

An attractive outside area is ideal for all season with its clear awnings to protect from a breeze, and ensures Cosy Café is the perfect destination if your coffee date is a furry companion.

Loyal regulars are the perfect testimonial, and Amy says they are enjoying seeing the new faces at weekends plus parents getting takeaway coffees for their Saturday side-line duties.

“We’d like to thank everyone that has supported us this tricky year,” says Sam.


Gardens, gifts and café in one: Lushingtons Gardens, Gifts and Café

Spring is a time of renewal. It’s also a time to explore, to do something different, to find somewhere new to enjoy. There can be few more alluring places for a new experience than Lushingtons Garden, Gifts and Café at Tinwald, Ashburton. It’s the perfect stop for lunch and a leg stretch en route to and from Christchurch, but because it offers so many tempting delights – it is even better for a day out.

Right now, the garden centre has a huge range of edible plants. “We have stocked up again on edibles after an enormous run on these during the Covid-19 lockdown,” says Miranda Sinton, who co-owns Lushingtons with her sister, Sophie Duff.

“There is everything from vegetable and berry plants to fruit and citrus trees. Now is a good time to be planting seeds for summer harvesting and our knowledgeable and experienced team can help with your selections. We take pride in the quality of our plants and grow many of them in our own nursery at Allenton which helps keep the prices competitive.”

The café too has new surprises on its spring menu for breakfast and lunch, alongside wholesome homemade cakes and slices. Next to the café is the gift and homewares shop.

Worked around a “country comes to town” theme, here you will find beautiful French and English-inspired giftware.

Lushingtons definitely has what it takes to delight the senses and lift the spirits. Once you are there it is not easy to leave.


New venture adventure: Salt n Pepper Cafe

Buying a hospitality business during the Covid-19 lockdown could be seen as a risky venture. That is, however, exactly what Dharambir Judge did when the opportunity arose to purchase the Salt n Pepper Café in Hanmer Springs.


“Certainly, I had some sleepless nights about it,” says Dharambir. “But I concentrated on the positives of the situation I had been presented with.

“My friend Amandeep worked in the café as a manager and knew what a wonderful location it is in and how it could be a thriving enterprise once again when restaurants were able to open.

“Above all I have always wanted to have my own business, and this was too good a chance to throw away.”

Salt n Pepper occupies a superb position in the Boulder Point retail development, with stunning views of Conical Hill and surrounding countryside so diners can treat their eyes and recharge their souls as they enjoy the delicious and varied range of food.

“I was lucky a friend agreed to support my bid to buy the café. We opened to the public again the day before the July school holidays started and since then we have had a great response from patrons.”

Dharambir and his team are now looking to the future and to making Salt n Pepper Café the place everyone wants to dine at in Hanmer Springs.

Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings for now, extending to every night with the warmer weather.



A café collaboration: Purple Weka Cafe

Friends helping out friends, and businesses building each other up, is what Cantabrians do best.

Ben and Hayley at Purple Weka Café


Café and bar owner Stu McDougall was eternally grateful to have his entrepreneurial buddy, Ben Hogg, weave some infamous Purple Weka magic online during lockdown.

He kept loyal customers entertained, as nothing was coming out of the kitchen for four long weeks.

With a communications degree from Massey and a ten year stint as a marketing executive in Christchurch, the 31-year-old launched his own enterprise in January – – helping the “small guys” engage closely with customers.

Ben has always enjoyed helping others to harness creative ways to grow their business.

“It’s something I’ve been doing for years anyway, helping out friends like Stu.

We met when I moved down from Palmy. I stayed with him and he showed me the ropes of local life.

Helping with Stu’s social media, I wanted to capture the thing that makes his café such a special place for customers, so I spent a whole day at the café to get a feel for the banter I’d come to associate with knowing Stu.”

When reading Stu’s hilarious 10 commandments for level 2 on Facebook, no one would suspect that Ben was the social media guru behind the scenes.

“We also felt it was important to support Stu’s team by sharing their side-hustles too, such as Cassidy’s photography, Hayley’s nail business and Jacinta’s keto-friendly cooking.

“Businesses succeed when they collaborate and we all need to look at ways to complement, rather than compete, with each other.”