A new type of workshop opened in industrial Silverdale last month, offering a service that has been welcomed with open arms.
The Workshop Café has an industrial, funky style and is turning out fresh food and great coffee, all made onsite in cleverly converted shipping containers.
Owner Karen Horne, of Waitoki, has designed the café to blend into the location, which is in Furnace Place, Silverdale Business Park, surrounded by warehouses, factories and passing trucks – from the café’s black painted containers and plywood tables with scaffold bases to the school chairs, old milk bottles and vintage teaspoons.
Karen has been a chef for 20 years and she says her cabinet food, which includes substantial sandwiches, wraps, baps and frittata, is finding favour with the locals.
“The feedback we’re getting is that the people who work around here are enjoying the range that we offer,” Karen says. “Customers tell us they like having a local and independent café – but most of all, they’re loving the food and coffee.”
With this in mind, the café has a wide range of gluten free baking, raw and Paleo food such as homemade focaccia, nut bread, kumara fudge and raw red velvet slice – alongside more traditional sweet and savoury items.
The environmental footprint of the business is important to Karen, who uses takeaway cups and packaging that can be composted, supplied by Innocent Packaging. As much organic produce is used as possible and the Kokako coffee is also organic and made with organic milk.
Karen says the other ingredient for any successful café is great staff and the service that goes with that.
“Coming here provides a break in the working day and we want it to be a friendly experience with a chance to chat. People work hard and deserve an enjoyable, relaxing lunch or coffee break.”
People start work early in this area, and being ready with hot coffee and fresh food means pre-dawn starts for Karen and her team. Workshop Cafe opens at 6.30am and Karen is busy in the kitchen there an hour earlier.
“This is the first time I’ve branched out on my own and my staff and I are passionate about making it work.”