Invercargill family means business

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 08:07 27/12/2013

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One Invercargill family is really showing what it means to be a family business.

The Hawkes family, who own Paddington Arms, now have three generations working in the kitchen at the restaurant, something grandfather and owner Graham Hawkes couldn't be happier about.

After 21 years of owning the business, he is not the only Hawkes cooking up a storm.

Ten years ago his son Jeremy joined him as a chef in the kitchen, and now Jeremy's son, Thomas, has also joined the ranks.

The 15-year-old started working at the restaurant several months ago to save money for a year-long secondary school exchange in Japan.

He began washing dishes in the kitchen and plating up deserts.

While Thomas may be family, Mr Hawkes said he did not treat his grandson any different to the other staff.

There were still arguments and yelling, he said.

"Thomas has always been a quiet one really; he never showed any initiative or talked about wanting to join us in the kitchen."

But like his father Jeremy, he was very skilled, Mr Hawkes said.

Jeremy never imagined he would be working in the kitchen with his father and son, despite growing up as a kitchen hand.

He wanted to do anything but work in a kitchen as a teenager, he said.

Working with his father had not been as bad as he initially thought it may be a decade ago.

The family enjoyed working together and it was really what owning a family business was about, he said.

"We are promoting the restaurant as a place for families so it makes a lot of sense to have the whole family working here as well.

"We really are turning it into a family business."

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- The Southland Times

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