Owner proud of new Diner

There are very few Mata­mata res­i­dents who haven’t heard of Syd Work­man. The owner of Work­man’s Cafe and Bar has taken his place as one of Mata­mata’s finest and is now em­bark­ing on his lat­est ad­ven­ture. Ka­t­rina Lin­ton­bon sat down with Mr Work­man at his new

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Syd Work­man’s in­fec­tious. When you get the op­por­tu­nity to sit down and chat with him you can’t help but feel in­spired.

This is a man who throws ev­ery­thing into what he does. It’s all or noth­ing for Mr Work­man.

When he pur­chased Work­man’s Cafe and Bar he gave him­self three years in Mata­mata.

That three years has turned into 17 and now there is no other place that Mr Work­man would rather call home than Mata­mata.

‘‘I was never any good at stay­ing in one place for too long, un­til I ar­rived in Mata­mata,’’ he said.

‘‘I fell in love with the town and the peo­ple.’’

Now Mr Work­man is em­bark­ing on his lat­est busi­ness ven­ture – the Diner in Wa­haroa.

Some years ago when Mr Work­man was liv­ing in Wa­haroa he saw a need for some­thing he be­lieved the lit­tle vil­lage lacked.

Mr Work­man said Wa­haroa is


is go­ing places and the Diner would pick up busi­ness from the pass­ing traf­fic.

‘‘It’s an al­ter­na­tive to what’s in town. The con­cept is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to Work­man’s,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve al­ways had a soft spot for Wa­haroa. I was al­ways watch­ing and knew what I was go­ing to do when the op­por­tu­nity arose for me.’’

The build­ing that the Diner is in had been va­cant for some time be­fore Mr Work­man snapped it up.

The part of the build­ing that he is most proud of is the toi­lets or ‘‘dun­nies’’, as he likes to call them.

‘‘I’m very, very proud of my dun­nies – for a start they are big and they are clean. You couldn’t ask for any more re­ally.

‘‘I’m al­ways telling peo­ple to go and have a look.’’

Mr Work­man said he has many peo­ple he wishes to thank in­clud­ing his team at the Diner.

‘‘I want the girls to know how much they are ap­pre­ci­ated. They all do an amaz­ing job.’’

‘‘Bill Mikkel­son, Paul Jones and his team, and Ja­son and his boys from Plum­bCo also helped me im­mensely,’’ he said.

Mr Work­man said he never set a date for the grand open­ing of the Diner, it just hap­pened.

‘‘ We opened when we ready to open,’’ he said.

Born and raised in Te Aroha and ed­u­cated in Mor­rinsville, Tahuna and Auck­land, Mr Work­man has de­scribed his life as some­what tran­sient.

He has owned busi­nesses in Auck­land, Pu­taruru and has lived and worked over­seas in in­clud­ing Aus­tralia and Europe.

Mr Work­man has also tried his hand at a num­ber of dif­fer­ent things in­clud­ing con­struc­tion,

were dairy farm­ing and long-haul truck driv­ing.

‘‘I’ve done a bit of this and a bit of that,’’ he said.

But now, with two suc­cess­ful busi­nesses and fam­ily and peo­ple in his life who mean the world to him, Mr Work­man has found his ‘‘happy place’’.

‘‘ At the moment I’m a very happy and con­tented hu­man be­ing. It’s not about the things you have. It’s all about the peo­ple,’’ he said.

Top team: Syd Work­man (mid­dle) with the Diner team of Lisa (first left), Suzy, Angie and Paula.

Open for busi­ness: Syd Work­man en­joys a cof­fee at the Diner in Wa­haroa.

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