Dining by the river
Al fresco eatery opens on banks of MaitaiSALLY KIDSON
Clare and Blue Fleming, along with Clare's sister Katy Bailey and Katy's husband Aaron have taken over the Oasis Cafe in the Miller's Acre car park.
All have a long-running background in the hospitality industry and are excited about their new venture, and what they and the sunny river-side location has to offer Nelsonians.
River Kitchen opened quietly last week with a soft unadvertised opening to allow them time to get their systems in place.
The family bought the business from Doreen and Brian Gray who had run Oasis for nearly 10 years.
Clare and Blue own Milton St Takeaways which they are continuing to operate.
Clare also runs gourmet marshmallow business Posh Puffs with her other sister, Sarah Gibbs. Clare said they really liked family businesses and have all worked in the industry.
Her mother owned restaurants when they were young.
Aaron, a chef, and Katy moved to Nelson six months ago to be closer to family and to allow their children to grow up together.
The couples have five children between them aged 3 to 11 and the older kids are already enjoying helping out.
"Our roots are pretty deep in this industry," Aaron said.
"We wanted a family business. We would never have been able to do this ourselves," Katy said.
The couple both love Nelson and its community feel, which Katy said is similar to St Ives, England where she grew up.
Aaron said they were looking for at different restaurants and jumped at the chance to take over Oasis when the business came up for sale.
They had had a busy six months, buying a house as well as the business since they moved to Nelson.
Before the shift they had been living in Melbourne and London.
Both couples said their children would also get the chance to experience the hospitality business and could help out after school.
The food has an emphasis on fresh, local produce.
Aaron said he was keen to promote Nelson's amazing food.
The cafe's decor has been done in an eclectic style.
The business will initially be open for breakfast and lunch. But the plan is to also open for dinner in a few weeks, to allow people to further enjoy the beautiful spot.
The kitchen is the heart of a busy family, so naming the cafe that looks out on to the pretty Maitai River was easy, Clare said.
"We want it to be all about the food. We are all family people and the hub of everyone's home is the kitchen.
"Everything in our house happens in the kitchen."
- © Fairfax NZ News