Cherie’s cafe is a firm favourite of many in the South Taranaki settlement of Kaponga and she says she’s lucky to count Fonterra farmers and site people as regulars. In a part of New Zealand with such a strong dairy heritage, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Cherie’s a huge fan of milk.
How long have you lived in the region?
I’ve been in Kaponga for five years. Rotorua is where I originally came from, but I’ve spent the last two decades in Taranaki – I’ve lived in Waitara, New Plymouth, Inglewood and now Kaponga. –It makes me sound like I move around a lot! I think we’ll stay in South Taranaki. Right now I’m in the process of building a coffee truck business. It means I get to head out to markets and cruise the countryside with my partner Chris.
What’s the best part about your job?
My customers and working with good products. I really enjoy introducing people to more natural foods. I use a lot of ground almonds and look after some customers’ paleo requirements. We’re alternative, but still stay true to good old-fashioned food. I love it!
Do any of your regulars really stand out?
Fonterra Kapuni is a standout customer. I do a lot of catering for them. They send a lot of customers to my café too. Also, Farmsource is really helpful and I love Anchor Milk.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee. No question!! Always with milk. I’m also enjoying caramel lattes at the moment
What do your days off look like?
The business keeps me pretty busy, so I’m very lucky to have someone who cooks for me at home. After work, I’m often out walking our three dogs around Kaponga. We have puppies in training. Our brother and sister purebred German Sheppards are just over five months old, and you can tell how old big they’re going to be. Our seven-year-old staffy, Cruze, has reverted back to being a puppy since their arrival.
My partner is an avid hunter so we sometimes go out on the quad bike.
What are you most proud of?
Putting the business together. In the beginning, everyone told me I was crazy and it would never work, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I am so proud of that achievement.