Cromwell is ‘fair hum­ming’

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

‘‘We were a bit ner­vous - but I sup­pose we took the plunge.’’

Cromwell’s growth is con­tin­u­ing to at­tract new busi­nesses and mo­ti­vate ex­ist­ing ones to ex­pand.

Busi­ness ac­tiv­ity in­cludes Ami­gos in the mall build­ing a bar op­po­site the restau­rant, Food­stuff is open­ing a Henry’s store on Mon­day, a taxi ser­vice start­ing a fort­night ago and the town’s se­cond su­per­mar­ket, FreshChoice, is due to open around April next year.

James and Syreeta Emanuel, along with War­ren and Nicki Bradley, opened Ami­gos in Cromwell in Novem­ber 2016. James said the restau­rant had been so well sup­ported they of­ten did not have enough room to cater for cus­tomers.

‘‘Usu­ally a restau­rant has a hon­ey­moon pe­riod which lasts about six to eight weeks but we had no hon­ey­moon, it kept build­ing and kept get­ting busier and busier. Months like May and July we were ex­pect­ing to be dead but at the very least we were cov­er­ing costs. We found we didn’t have enough room.’’

The busi­ness part­ners had been run­ning Ami­gos in Wanaka for 20 years and to open an­other restau­rant in Cromwell was a ‘‘no-brainer’’, he said.

‘‘There was an el­e­ment of risk but we had done our home­work and it be­came a no-brainer. The town is grow­ing . . . War­ren sat in the mall for two days and watched what was go­ing on - which was noth­ing - so ob­vi­ously we were a bit ner­vous - but I sup­pose we took the plunge.

‘‘This whole area will be full of pa­trons, it will cre­ate at­mos­phere in the mall and bring life back into it. We are al­ready see­ing more foot traf­fic through the mall.’’

As well as sup­port from the com­mu­nity, the Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil had been sup­port­ive, he said.

‘‘I have worked with a num­ber of coun­cils over the years, in three dif­fer­ent coun­tries, and this is by far the most sup­port­ive re­sponse we have had. Con­sents have been pro­cessed fast and costs have not been out­landish.’’

The bar, called Bar­gar­i­tas, will open in De­cem­ber. Cromwell Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Neil Gille­spie said growth in the town was ‘‘un­precen­dented’’ and busi­ness ac­tiv­ity re­flected that.

‘‘We’ve had it on and off for a long time, but at the mo­ment it’s fair hum­ming . . . New busi­ness is a di­rect re­sult of more peo­ple liv­ing in the place. It means the town is chang­ing and peo­ple in it are chang­ing. If you have not got growth you are go­ing back­wards.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Syreeta and James Emanuel.

James Emanuel

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