Customer service is high on the list of priorities for new Coffee Club owner, Scott Smith.
Scott and his wife Della took over the Orewa cafe, in Florence Avenue, last month. He says he is enjoying getting to know customers on a first name basis.
“There are some really interesting people on the Coast and I love hearing their stories,” he says. “It was part of the appeal of the Coffee Club because it caters more for locals than just people passing through.”
Scott says while feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive, he is keen to hear from all customers.
“I don’t want anyone to go away unhappy,” he says. “Ultimately, we may not be able to meet every customers’ expectations, but I at least want the opportunity to hear what the feedback is and try to resolve it.”
He says Coffee Club has spent a lot of time devising a menu that caters for a range of dietary requirements, from vegan to gluten-free, and the café has the flexibility to individualise meals where possible. Customers only have to ask and all suggestions are welcome.
After nearly 30 years working in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, selling everything from Pepsi Cola to chocolate and beer, Scott is relishing the opportunity to leave the corporate world behind and strike out on his own.
He and Della were first introduced to the Coffee Club chain when they lived in Sydney.
“The café we went to was kid-friendly, the coffee and food was consistently good, and we knew what to expect when we went there so when we started to look for a business, it made sense to go with something we were already familiar with.
“Plus, it’s a franchise with strong head office support, systems and training. This has been invaluable for us as ‘first time’ business owners.”
Orewa also felt like a natural fit.
“I have fond memories of holidaying here as a kid and Della and I used to bring our kids – Seb, 17, and Lily, 8 – here when we had a motorhome.”
Scott has spent his first few weeks at the café redecorating, adding screens and plants outside, ordering new furniture, improving the lighting and recovering the sofas. Della and Seb have been busy with a camera taking iconic shots of Orewa, which adorn the walls.
The Coffee Club opens 365 days a year and operates with a full-time staff of nine, plus a number of part-timers.