NZ Cafe of the Year Regional Finalists Revealed
NZ CAFÉ OF THE YEAR REGIONAL FINALISTS REVEALED
Evans Bay, Shelley Bay and Lyall Bay eateries to face the judges
Click for big version.
Cafe of the Year 2013-Elements cafe Wellington
Café-goers in Wellington have spoken. Cafés in Evans Bay, Shelley Bay and Lyall Bay are the three regional finalists in the 2013 NZ Café of the Year Awards.
Customers of Evans Bay’s Greta Point Café, Chocolate Fish Café in Shelley Bay and Lyall Bay’s Elements voted them the top three in the Wellington region. Now it’s up to the judges to choose the overall winner from the 18 finalists across six regions.
The competition is now in its second year and attracted votes from more than 45,000 café lovers for the 669 eateries that entered.
The 2013 NZ Café of the Year winner is announced in early December and its owners drive away in a FIAT 500S. Two runners-up receive $2,500 worth of Heinz Wattie’s and Goodman Fielder products.
Last year’s overall winner was Paper Moon in Mairangi Bay, Auckland which is again a finalist in 2013.
Head judge Kerry Tyack says he and his fellow adjudicators are “hugely impressed” by the record number of entries.
“Café culture around the country is thriving in large measure because of the discernment and expectations of coffee and tea lovers as well as those who enjoy more casual dining in an informal atmosphere.
“Cafés that show a thorough appreciation of what it takes to keep customers happy are the ones who’ll catch our eyes. We’re looking for things such as a welcoming environment, great food and drink, pleasant, attentive service and reasonable pricing,” Tyack says.
He says a high level of innovation is required when it comes to using the sponsors’ products. Just as importantly judges, want to see cafés being comfortable in what they offer rather than those trying to be everything to everyone and taking on the style of a bar or restaurant.
"Cafes are relaxed user-friendly places with casual, counter food some of which may be pre-prepared cabinet style, without loud music, extensive drinks menus and bistro food. It’s not the wait-staff or chef on show, it’s the customer who must hold centre court in a great cafe."
Tyack says cafés serious about taking out the regional and national prizes should be on guard and not relax just because they think the judges may have visited.
“It is entirely possible they will be visited more than once so assessors can be certain the standards are consistent. Consistency is a key requirement of the winning cafe.”
The top three café finalists in each of the six regions are:
Circus Circus, Mt Eden
Bambina Ponsonby, Ponsonby
Paper Moon Café, Mairangi Bay
Upper North Island
Black Cottage Café, Riverhead
Bodyfuel Café, Taupo
Woodturners Café, Ngatea
Lower North Island
Lush Café & Gelato, New Plymouth
Ten O’clock Cookie Bakery Café, Masterton
The Village Grinder, Masterton
Chocolate Fish Café, Shelley Bay
Elements, Lyall Bay
Greta Point Café, Evans Bay
ARANCIO Cafe, Cnr Linwood Ave
Station One, Papanui
Willows Café, St Martins
Jester House, Tasman
Maggies Kitchen, Greymouth
The Courthouse Café & Bar, Alexandra
The judges begin their deliberations on 29 October visiting each café incognito until November 18. The winners in each region are announced on 25 November with the overall NZ Café of the Year winners for 2013 announced on 4 December.
The award is organised by The Restaurant Association of New Zealand and supported by Wattie’s and Meadow Fresh.
About NZ Café of the
New Zealand Café of the Year Award was launched by the Image Centre Group in 2012. Café owners throughout NZ are eligible and the finalists are chosen by public vote in six regions. Food industry judges then choose regional winners and the overall NZ Café of the Year after visiting each café. Cafés are judged on appearance, atmosphere, staff, meals and overall experience. Each café entering the award must have at least one dish on its menu containing Wattie’s canned fruit and vegetable products and Goodman Fielder’s Meadow Fresh or Tararua products. The winning café is announced at the beginning of December and its owners drive home a brand new Fiat 500S. Café-goers who vote also go in the draw to win a regional prize of $1,000 to spend in the café of their choice. There’s also a grand prize of $5,000 for one lucky consumer to spend at his or her favourite café. In its first year the awards attracted more than 400 entries. Paper Moon Café in Mairangi Bay, Auckland won the inaugural title.
About The Restaurant Association of New
The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has hundreds of members covering the length and breadth of the country, representing every facet of the restaurant and hospitality industry.
The industry employs more than 80,000 people at nearly 12,000 restaurants and food outlets and generates sales in excess of $5 billion. RANZ offers its members business tools, support and advice for growing their businesses and breaking new ground in the fast growing hospitality arena.
About Image Centre
Auckland-based Image Centre Group (ICG) is a diversified communications business with interests in printing, retail advertising, digital communications, video production and publishing. Founded in 1989 as a pre-press provider, ICG now employs more than 200 New Zealanders across eight brands with one vision – to satisfy the brand or communications strategies of all its customers. Full info at www.image-centre.com.
Issued for NZ Café of the Year by Pead PR
 This year the country has been divided into six regions for voting: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Upper North, Lower North and South Island. Therefore the finalists listed in the Upper North Island exclude public votes for Auckland cafes.