Blinc and you'll miss it
A central Nelson cafe that opened in January as an expansion of its parent catering firm is to close its doors tomorrow.
Blinc Cafe off Wakatu Sq is shutting so its owners can revert solely to catering, which is where the growth in business is, co-owner Lincoln Womersley said.
Blinc Catering is now in its fifth year with solid growth predicted from the premises in Wakatu Sq it moved to in January, but the cafe is holding it back.
"We're going to focus completely on catering and we'll change the front of the shop to reflect that.
"We'll re-style it and set it up as a consultation room for [catering] clients."
Blinc Cafe opened in premises formerly occupied by the Strawberry Bakehouse. Womersley, a Melbourne-born chef who trained in a variety of establishments in the Australian city, and his Kiwi wife Brigitta developed a nostalgic theme for the new cafe based on what they described then as something along the lines of "nana's house".
The cafe served food on retro china plates and bone handled cutlery sourced from a number of second-hand shops around the country. Agee twist-top jars filled with milkshake lollies and k-bars lined the cafe's walls.
The family-run business was the second strand of the longer- term goal to have the catering and cafe businesses work together.
Brigitta Womersley is from Wanaka and has a fine-dining cooking background. She has worked in five-star hotels around New Zealand and Australia.
The pair, who have three children, met while working at the Ayers rock Resort.
Lincoln Womersley has worked in a number of places in Nelson, including the Anchor Restaurant at Port Nelson and the Sprig & Fern.
He said the cafe had proved to be a "bit of a tough game", so they made the decision to spend time "doing what they do best".
He said historically the premises had not worked well as a retail outlet, possibly because of its location which was not on the sunny side of the street.
Womersley said they were heavily booked for the coming season for corporate catering, and the season beyond was also looking good.
"The catering business is growing steadily and we've done well over the winter. What we want to do is build on that. We're also looking at getting into wholesale production."
The company was considering a venture into wholesaling its gourmet pies.
The Nelson Mail