Cafe rises from the ashes
Waipu’s Cafe Deli was razed, but the owner says it will rise from the ashes for the approaching summer season.
Three buildings were destroyed by the blaze about 1.20am on Sunday including the cafe, the Waipu Pharmacy and Harker Herbals store.
Locals were earlier this week grieving the loss of the businesses in the heart of their town just before the rush of the summer season.
The small township usually booms in these coming peak temperatures but locals are worried the damage caused to the businesses will put tourists off.
But Cafe Deli owner Jo Spring was optimistic about the future and hoped her business would thrive again, even if it was in a slightly different location.
“Yesterday was devastating, but today is a lot better,” she said on Monday.
Spring is hoping for a short-term business plan to be in place soon to get a version of the cafe up and running.
At the moment, it is most important that they take care of their staff, Spring said.
During the winter season, 14 people were employed and over summer, staff numbers increased to 20.
As devastating as the damage was, Spring said it was an opportunity for her to pursue something different with the cafe.
“The building burned down but Cafe Deli is still alive because it’s us.”
A pop-up cafe in Waipu was the most likely solution this summer.