Algies Bay couple Mark and Marlane Elley have become part-owners in Snells Beach café, Little & Local. The couple moved from Dairy Flat in December and became regular patrons of the café, which has been run by local couple Melody and Scott Nightingale for two and a half years.
Marlane has run Mainly Music classes for mums and pre-schoolers for many years, while bringing up her own children and husband Mark works in the IT industry. Moving up to Algies Bay, they are now looking forward to escaping the rat race.
The Elleys’ have four children ranging from 14-year-old Ruth to 20-year-old Hannah, and had a bach at Algies when the children were young.
“They are coming back to their childhood memories,” Marlane says. “We used to come here for holidays and the kids would swim in Kawau Bay. It’s like coming home.”
Two of the children are now at university and she misses cooking large meals for the family and the kids friends, but she is not planning to cook for the whole community in the café kitchen.
“I have no hospitality experience, but I love talking to people and that’s a big part of the job,” Marlane says.
“We wanted to get out of the craziness of Albany, simplify our lives and invest in the local community,” Mark says.
The couple’s investment will mean original owners Melody and Scott will have time to implement their vision and grand ideas for the café. These include cookery classes for local blokes, night markets and coffee making lessons.
Mark says that he doesn’t really feel like a new owner of the business.
“My name might be on a piece of paper but the community owns this café, the locals have decorated it, come here to play music, and help run our events. This is a community asset and that’s what excites me.”