24 | Mahurangimatters 1 December 2012
PLU M E C A F é O PE NS
Move to Matakana’s heart just the beginning The former Brookview Teahouse, in Matakana, will re-open to the public on November 30 under its new name Plume Café. The teahouse, which was owned and operated by Lynne Curry, closed several months ago when former owner Richard Didsbury sold to Clyde and Farida Cooper, who also own the Plume Restaurant in Sharp Road. The one-hectare property comes with a resource consent for a 70-seat restaurant, which will eventually be built overlooking the Matakana River. Clyde expects to start work on that project early next year. During the recent closure, the café premises have been transformed, both inside and out, including the construction of a stand-alone patisserie. The Coopers say they are pleased to be establishing a business in the heart of Matakana and they see the café as the next step in developing the Plume brand. The two businesses will be marketed and operated jointly, sharing staff, fresh garden produce and products from the patisserie. The couple moved to NZ from Mumbai, in 2004, looking for a quiet, pretty area where they could see more of their family and become part of a
Plume owners Clyde and Farida Cooper.
community. In India, they ran a cargo, freight and courier business for 24 years. “Doing business in India is quite different from NZ,” Clyde says. “Over there, if you want to be successful, you have to be prepared to work 18 hours a day. But NZ has its challenges, too. For us, in the hospitality business,
winters are terribly slow, people costs are expensive and recruiting trained hospitality staff in this area is difficult. “However, winter is also an opportunity to regroup, think of new strategies, have staff trainings and have a bit of a break before Labour Day weekend and the start of the new season.”
Farida says she is delighted with the new café and particularly the dovecote, which stands on the corner of the property. “The birds and I are already very good friends,” she says.
The new café can seat up to 140, but 80 to 100 is considered optimum. Reflecting the market town atmosphere of Matakana, it will offer food that is as “fresh as possible”.
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Mahurangimatters 1 December 2012 | 25 PLUME C AF é OPENS
Retaining cafe’s character puts contractors to the test
Transforming a traditional bungalow into a functional, yet characterful, café has kept contractors on their toes, confronting unforeseen challenges with ingenuity and craftsmanship. Brackenridge Builders project manager Tony Borich says the job became a dual challenge to turn the 1920s bungalow into a functional café and create a turnkey patisserie from scratch. Teamwork was the key as up to six builders and 20 contractors were on site at once, working long hours to deliver the project within a tight 12week timeframe. Designpoint architect Chris Bassett says the brief was to create light and useable spaces, while respecting the building and retaining its character. The house features kauri weatherboards, native timber framing, matai and totara floors and ornate ceilings, all of which have been kept, along with the back-to-back fireplace that was near to collapse, but was rebuilt as a centrepiece. Six rooms were turned into a single open-plan space incorporating new skylights, lighting, heat pumps, gas fires and ceiling insulation, while the kitchen was completely refitted. Re-piling and relining were also necessary, with builders working around walls that were out of plumb and not square or level, Tony says. A new deck has been built on the carpark side to “engage with the street” and indicate the building’s current use, but the café entrance remains at the rear, protected from the weather and with good links to the patisserie, Chris says. New weatherboards, skirtings, architraves, balustrade caps and scotias were custom run to blend in with existing profiles.
OPEN Project manager Tony Borich, designer Brigid Maire, and architect Chris Bassett say teamwork was key to completing the café on time.
After the café was complete, the 36sqm patisserie was built on the footprint of existing sheds that couldn’t be restored to commercial kitchen standards. Chris designed a replacement building in keeping with the style of the café and re-using some existing windows. It took just 12 weeks from demolition and design to delivery, complete with consents and fit-out, ready for chefs to start baking. Throughout the project, care was taken to protect a pumphouse on site responsible for the entire water supply of the cinema complex and numerous other Matakana businesses. For more café photos see this story at www.localmatters.co.nz
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26 | Mahurangimatters 1 December 2012 PLUME C AF é OPENS
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Southern Hospitality’s Ross Simmonds demonstrates the new oven.
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Congratulations Clyde & Farida on the opening of Plume Cafe in Matakana
There is good news for Matakana residents who still bemoan the closing of the Matakana Patisserie. A purpose-built patisserie has been “We don’t want to get ahead of built as part of the Plume Café ourselves and promise something we redevelopment. can’t deliver,” he says. “There are bound Southern Hospitality sales consultant to be some teething problems so we’ll Ross Simmonds, who has been be taking things one step at a time.” overseeing the design and fit-out of the The new patisserie features a number patisserie, says the compact patisserie of state-of-the art appliances including kitchen is designed for efficiency. a multi-rack Panem retarder prover from France, which “It’s not a huge space, so we’ve taken imported particular care to make sure the work automatically proves the dough and then flow areas will work efficiently,” he says. refrigerates it, even freezing it if necessary. While the aim is to eventually offer The Kolb Swiss oven, which is four across-the-counter sales, owner Clyde ovens in one, allows individual baking Cooper says that in the first few conditions for everything from pastries months, it will only supply product to bread. The rolling-out table is made for the café and Plume Restaurant, as of oak which has been specially treated with boiled linseed oil and beeswax. well as sales to café customers.
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Mahurangimatters 1 December 2012 | 27 PLUME C AF é OPENS
Design gives nod to the past Diners at Plume Matakana can enjoy the new venue without losing touch with the site’s long history, which is reflected in both the landscape and interior design. Designpoint’s Brigid Maire says she has kept in mind the location’s orcharding and country homestead past, favouring a traditional English country garden style over urban chic. Gardens surrounding the pebbled courtyard and buildings have been developed around existing plants such as cherry trees and other colourful deciduous trees, with the addition of roses, white hydrangeas, rosemary and citrus. Brigid favours relatively hardy plants and repeat plantings, kept in scale with the site to create large blocks of colour and a cohesive scheme. While the café garden is slightly higher maintenance than those in many commercial settings, she says the owners’ love of flowers and provision of a gardener make it suitable for this project. “We try to have something happening in the garden all year round. The finish is important too. You have to be meticulous in the lines that you plant and the quality of the plants that you bring in.” Brigid has also brought the orchard
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Designer Brigid Maire with her cleverly disguised acoustic panels.
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Congratulations Clyde & Farida on your new business venture. It’s been a pleasure working with you again!
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