Delectable cuisine, great service
Mention the name ‘Tin Goose’ Cafe to Central Otago residents (and now the many travellers who have ventured through the region), and the name immediately conjures up images of delectable cuisine, tantalising smells, and a great atmosphere, all mixed in with welcoming smiles and superb service. Not to mention GREAT coffee. Established initially in Cromwell in the building which formerly housed the Cromwell tearooms some nine years ago, the Tin Goose Cafe´ soon spread its wings and its tasty treats were available from premises established in Centennial Avenue, Alexandra, and the Terrace Junction at Frankton, Queenstown, with its offspring the Baby Goose offering goodies at the Queenstown Events Centre.
Jeanie Watson, based in the inaugural Tin Goose Cafe´ in Cromwell, is a Central Otago girl through and through and it’s her passion for the region and creating and supplying Healthy foods using fresh seasonal ingredients which has lead to the establishment of the ’Tin Goose Cafes’. Born in Clyde, educated at Dunstan High, trained at Cromwell Polytech, and with a business which has been established and branched out to three corners of Central Otago, there’s no doubting which area has claimed the heart of Jeanie Watson.
Jeanie’s days are long, but this highlights her love of food, cooking, and creating recipes.
Her home and garden supply many of the herbs and vegetables included in the food produced in the cafes, which are very much a family affair.
Husband Alister manages the Alexandra cafe´ , her eldest son, the Queenstown cafe´ , and herself the Cromwell establishment.
And this talent seems to be a family trait, with Jeanie rating her other two sons as ’good cooks’.
The Tin Goose Cafe´ s are all busy, busy environments. One minute it is a busload of tourists bustling through the doors to sample the coffee and wares, the next it is quiet again, the welcoming staff busy clearing the tables, replenishing cabinets and having a well-earned break, or making a take-away coffee for one of the many locals who frequent the establishment.
Jeanie brings her own flair to the Cromwell Tin Goose Cafe´ .
"When I come in here in the morning, I have no idea what I am going to make for the day, but I check the fridge and see what is in there, and that inspires the menu for the day."
"I’m not necessarily very organised, but everything turns out gorgeous and tasty at the end of the day."
"I am always cooking and baking and I enjoy catering for something special whether it is a farewell dinner for a staff member leaving or doing a demonstration here or some other town.
When Jeanie admits that all she wants to do is ’cook, cook, cook’ and also spends many hours reading recipe books and scouring the internet for ideas, it’s hardly surprising the sons have inherited her talents, and the cafes have a staunch following in the region.
Well worth a stop off and a visit, no matter what the time of day or the level of hunger.
Some of the hardworking staff at Cromwell’s Tin Goose Cafe´ with owner Jeanie Watson (centre). At left is Andrea Szucsora with Chelsea Verdonk (at right).