Cromwell is ‘fair humming’
‘‘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.’’
Syreeta and James Emanuel.