What did you do during lockdown? Lots of organising of my house, exercising etc. Had quality time with husband. Lots of cooking and baking things I wouldn’t normally do (cos I had yeast and flour!) I took time to reflect on the business a little, but didn’t dwell. It is what it is, we will come out the other side, but for now let’s make the most of the time we have together. But by week three I was a bit over it.
What have you learned about yourself? Maybe I work too much and need to find more balance in my life. I thought about this a lot. Not “Is it worth it”, but more “Life is not all about work”. Other aspects of my life are equally important, and it took the business shutting down to see that. At the end of the year I always take time to reflect, but in lockdown there were no distractions; I couldn’t go anywhere, there was nothing that pulled me away from ‘right here and now’. I did quite like that in a sense.
What have you learned about your business, and what will you do differently? When you’re in the daily grind you don’t realise how much the business has grown. From where we started to where we are now is like “Wow!” I’ve realised how much we have grown into a multi-faceted business, and how we can simply change which facets we promote for now.
For instance, there won’t be as much demand for catering, but we can promote our frozen meals, and find new markets for them. And because we have to take out tables the café won’t be the strongest part of the business. Some clientele – particularly the elderly - may also be quite nervous about coming to the café as they have in the past. So, we are looking at diversifying to create more business outside our physical premises, such as fresh dinners.
Our main goal as a business is to keep everyone employed and hopefully growing a bit as well. I’m really hopeful for the future. I believe that the community will come back and support us and other local businesses.
The Wardroom Cafe
The Wardroom Coffee & Kitchen was first established by Chef Nicola Donald in January 2016 at a boutique premises on Ward Street, New Lynn. Word quickly spread of the great quality food offered and Nicola’s personal service, so in October 2016, when the opportunity arose to expand The Wardroom’s offerings and move to a bigger premise at the current location of 7 Totara Avenue, New Lynn, she jumped at the chance!
Nicola is a fully qualified chef with solid foundations learnt while working in a leading hotel in central Auckland for many years. Subsequently, Nicola felt a change of pace was needed and worked as a chef for several high-quality cafes in both Auckland & Melbourne. After getting married in 2013, an adventure was called for. Nicola and husband Hadley moved to the culinary capital of Australia – Melbourne, to further her knowledge and learn new skills. In late 2015, the decision was made to return home and share her love and passion for great quality, homemade food with fellow Aucklanders, ultimately establishing The Wardroom Coffee & Kitchen.
7 Totara Avenue, New Lynn, Auckland.
Parking available at the back of our building.
M-F: 7.30am - 3pm
Sat: 8.30am - 2pm
CLOSED on public holidays
09 827 6528
0210 267 7343