Maree Pickett has had her eye on Café Sandspit for a while, seeing it as the perfect complement to her existing businesses serving Kawau Island and Sandspit.
Maree has run the Mansion House Café on Kawau Island since 2006 and Kawau Cruises since 2013.
When the opportunity came to purchase Café Sandspit in July, Maree leapt at the chance, joining forces with business partner Alison Withers.
The women reopened the cafe in August with a spruced-up interior and a revamped menu.
The café is in a picturesque spot next to the Sandspit Wharf.
Maree says it’s the perfect place to come early, relax and enjoy a hearty breakfast or lunch, while taking in the stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf, before cruising out to Kawau Island.
“The café just adds a new dimension to the overall experience for our customers,” she says.
Maree has put her own spin on the menu, and everything is pretty much made on site, including the cakes, sauces and relishes. Menu highlights include the Sandspit Burger – a fresh fish burger, which
Maree points out has real fish, not some heavily processed product.
Then there is the hugely popular Roast Mushroom, Tomato and Hash Brown stack, which comes with a dash of truffle oil and tomato relish.For something sweeter, try the home-made carrot or lemon cake.
Maree has also introduced fresh scones with jam and cream, a long-standing favourite at the Mansion House Café.
Maree says beyond serving excellent food, the other key to a café’s success is having staff who are bubbly, friendly and efficient.
“We’ve been really lucky with our staff. They have the kind of personality that makes people want to come back and order another coffee,” she says.
She says it helps to be involved in a business often serving people who are chilled out, relaxed and looking forward to their holidays.
Café is open from 9am to 4.30pm, seven days a week during summer. It is closed on Tuesdays during winter.