A Wellington coffee expert has brought a taste of 1950s Americana to Strandon.
Two weeks ago New Plymouth cafe Zanziba was refitted and renamed The Federal Store.
Owner-operators Susan Burton- Welsh and Jeremy Burton have transformed the Devon St East establishment into a delicatessen- style cafe.
Jeremy Burton said he helped his mother open Zanziba about 20 years ago and took over recently to inject a new lease of life.
Zanziba's brown exterior became a pastel green and the interior was given a colourful, rustic feel. Waitresses wear vintage aprons and head scarves and country and western music plays through the speakers.
But while The Federal Store incorporated elements of Americana it was by no means a themed cafe, he said.
Burton, who used to work for popular Wellington company Havana Coffee, was now collaborating with New Plymouth's Ozone Coffee Roasters to roast a Federal Coffee blend.
Burton said his roles at Havana included factory manager and barista trainer among other things.
Susan Burton-Welsh said Burton spent two months sketching up plans for the cafe.
They closed the old Zanziba for two weeks to carry out the transformation, she said.
"We just wanted to put some life back into it," Burton-Welsh said.
"We had to make a statement."
Already people seemed to be paying attention with customers filing through the door since it opened two weeks ago.
"Since we opened the doors we haven't sat down."
Most of the Zanziba employees stayed on to work for the Federal Store, as well as some new ones, she said.
All up there were 16 staff on the payroll.
"We need it to do seven days a week."
The Federal Store was open 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on the weekends.
Burton said he got a lot of influence from a variety of Wellington cafes.
"It's an eclectic mix of everything."
Much of the decor was reused and recycled from Zanziba and the wall boards were from an old house in Tariki.
Burton said he had underestimated how busy the cafe would be when it opened.
"My whole staffing predictions went out the window on the first day."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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