TOP: Chris and Kathy take a moment to relax and enjoy a well-deserved caffeine boost. BELOW LEFT: The walls are lined with a collection of 'Whites Aviation' hand-coloured photos.
Family-owned cafē thriving after 20 years
STORY LISA LAITY
PHOTOS ABBY DANCE
n the ﬁercely competitive world of hospitality, one Taupō café has proved it has staying power and as such has earned its place as a bona ﬁde local institution. On the sunny side of Heu Heu Street sits Replete Café and Store. While its name may have changed ever so slightly since its debut in 1993, many elements of this business have endured in its 20-year history. Replete means full, content, completely satisﬁed, the opposite of deplete and it ﬁts perfectly with the owner operator duo Chris and Kathy Johnston’s philosophy to provide great customer service and cabinets brimming with simple, tasty food. Since the early days when only Chris and his sister Sarah took home weekly pay cheques around the $50 mark, things have come a long way. In a continual phase of evolution, the business has undertaken some notable additions over the years.
Former cooking schools proved a huge success, drawing both national and internationally acclaimed chefs including Peta Mathias, Annabel Langbein, Ray McVinnie, Alison Gofton, Ruth Pretty and Annabel White among others. Today, the café’s adjacent kitchenware store is another clear example of the couple’s decision to diversify and move with the times. Kathy says the two complement each other well and the stock she carries she would proudly display in her own home. You would think with a history spanning some 20 years that Replete Café and Store would be a local favourite and while that can be true for some, Chris and Kathy say a large percentage of their clientele are visitors to the region who will call in regularly when passing through. At the heart of what they do the couple say they are providing a
G R E A T O P P O R T U N I T I E S . C O . N Z ISSUE#01
Published on Nov 5, 2013
Great Opportunities is an annual Business & Lifestyle magazine that profiles why Taupo is a great place to live, work and play.