When Sandy Gupta took one look at the Salty Dog Inn in Snells Beach, she could immediately see herself running the place.
“I just had an instinct. I could see the potential it had. I just loved the place,” she says.
Her previous experience has included managing airline operations in Fiji and, more recently, a motel business in Auckland.
She says her motel background will breathe life back into the beautiful accommodation chalets at the Inn.
“The chalets offer guests comfortable accommodation and I will be able to create a little haven for holidaying and business guests alike,” she says.
After a swift recruitment drive for the restaurant side of the business, new staff and experienced personnel are eager to try new ideas to make the Inn an even better place to eat, drink and stay.
Head chef Justin Kingston has freshened the menu with new salmon, duck and lamb dishes, which have already proved popular.
“I knew the staff had the potential to make things really good. We complement each other really well – we share the same vision of where we want to go,” Sandy says.
After making further improvements to the look and presentation of the Inn, Sandy is now ready to see it used more widely by community groups.
She says the Salty Dog is the perfect place for people to socialise and support each other – this could include a young mothers’ group gathering for coffee, a quilting club, a bridge club, or perhaps a retired group meeting for lunch or afternoon tea.
With a sports bar available featuring darts and pool, there’s plenty to keep groups entertained.
Sandy says landing in Snells Beach is a dream come true.
“The beach is just across the road from me. It’s only an hour from Auckland and yet it’s a wonderful laid back community,” she says.