Cafe fi­nal­ist a sweet treat

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

Gen­er­a­tions of tried and true sim­ple recipes is what makes Sweet Painted Lady a fam­ily busi­ness suc­cess.

The Wa­haroa cafe has been named a fi­nal­ist in the NZ Cafe of the Year for the Clas­sic Kiwi cat­e­gory, for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

The busi­ness has been open for five years and is man­aged by Pat Jac­ques, for for her son Neville. Pat’s grand­daugh­ter Pa­trice Adam­son works as one of the duty man­agers.

Pat’s daugh­ters Ann Re­ichardt and Denise Adam­son also take an ac­tive part in the run­ning of the cafe. In fact, through­out the years, all seven of Pat’s grand­daugh­ters have worked in the cafe at one point.

Neville’s daugh­ter Na­dine is also the artist be­hind the iconic Sweet Painted Lady mu­ral and in­te­rior art­work.

‘‘Hav­ing my grand­daugh­ters work­ing here is a driv­ing power for me,’’ Pat says.

‘‘It’s great for the girls when they go away or over­seas, they come back and al­ways have a job.

‘‘How­ever, it be­came ob­vi­ous with the long hours in­volved, we were run­ning out of fam­ily to call on so started re­cruit­ing the first of our very com­pe­tent ladies.

‘‘Now it’s fam­ily and hard work­ing staff keep­ing the cafe look­ing great and mak­ing sure ev­ery cus­tomer has a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.‘‘

All the grand­daugh­ters have each re­ceived a book of recipes passed down through the gen­er­a­tions.

And it’s these gen­er­a­tional sweet and savoury treats that trav­ellers and reg­u­lar cus­tomers get to en­joy when they stop at the Sweet Painted Lady.

‘‘We have a ginger crunch here that flies out the door, but it’s just a sim­ple recipe.

‘‘We just make it the way it has al­ways been done, just like my mother made,’’ says Pat.

‘‘If peo­ple get a good deal, a friendly face, good ser­vice and if they get their needs met and go away happy, they will def­i­nitely tell peo­ple about it.

‘‘We have a lot of trav­ellers who say they needed to stop here as they knew we were fi­nal­ists in Cafe of the Year last year.

‘‘The Clas­sic Kiwi cat­e­gory is re­ally us.

‘‘We set the cafe out the way we would like a cafe to look, bak­ing cakes and slices that we have al­ways done. It’s sim­ple, ev­ery­day food.’’

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