New owners (from left) Andrew Cole and Tania Nevill with former owners Heather King and Charlie Wrigglesworth.
Local gelato lovers can relax – it’s going to be business as usual at Charlie’s, according to new owners Andrew Cole and Tania Nevill, who took over from Charlie Wrigglesworth and Heather King in April.
“We’re very aware that we have big boots to fill,” Tania says. “We’re not going to change what Charlie’s is at all.”
Both Andrew and Tania grew up on farms, but have always worked in Auckland in finance and the clothing business Working Style, which was established by Tania and a business partner 30 years ago. However, Andrew’s passion for growing, gardening and cooking has led the couple to seek their own small business and a new rural life for them and their three children, Will, Georgia and Johnny.
“We’ve always loved this area, and always thought we’d end up moving up here,” he says. “I’ve been looking for a business here for a couple of years, and this was ideal. The real thing that attracted us to this place was Heather and Charlie … once we met them, it just felt like the right thing to do.”
For now, Charlie’s customers will continue to enjoy the familiar range of gelato, sorbetto and produce, served by familiar faces Lynette, Kylie and Angela. “They’re training us,” quips Tania. Sometime down the track, Andrew is hoping to grow more produce like salad greens and tomatoes, and he also wants to utilise the outdoor pizza oven to slow-cook meats such as pulled pork and beef brisket. Meanwhile, Tania would like to develop a small range of organic coconut-based ice creams.
For now, however, they simply want to settle into local life and get to know the business and their customers.
“We’re looking forward to getting to know people here,” they say. “And we want to hear what they think as well. We’re very open to comments.”