Honeypot Cafe's Sydenham gamble fails

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 12:28 29/07/2013
Rob Gould
David Hallett

OWNER: Rob Gould says relocating to Sydenham was a gamble.

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Christchurch's Honeypot Cafe has closed after a ''bit of a gamble'' with relocating after the February 2011 earthquake failed to pay off.

However, liquidators are confident the business can be sold and are on the look out for a ''motivated buyer who can drive it forward,'' Rhys Cain from Ernst & Young said.

Owner Rob Gould said it had not been an easy decision to make but his company was today placed into liquidation.

''It's definitely not a great time. Relocating was always going to be a real lottery but it didn't work out.''

Gould took over the business about four years ago but the February 2011 earthquake destroyed the cafe's Lichfield St home.

Later that year Honeypot Cafe reopened on Colombo St in Sydenham.

''We were packed when we first reopened because we were one of the first to get back on our feet,'' he said.

''But there's definitely been a correlation between new places opening up and the decline in our sales.''

Gould hoped somebody would come forward and buy the business and ''keep the Honeypot name going''.

''I take full responsibility for the decisions made and I don't blame anyone or anything . . . you just do your best and sometimes it doesn't work out.''

Gould said it was a ''sad day'' but had felt encouraged by the messages of support received on the cafe's Facebook page.

''That really means a lot.''

Christchurch had ''totally changed'' in the wake of the quake and it was always going to be a ''bit of a gamble'' to relocate so quickly after the earthquakes.

''We didn't know what the city was going to look like and where people were going to end up and it's not like we're surrounded by hotels in Sydenham like we were in the CBD.''

Cain said the business would be temporarily closed while a stocktake was carried out but said ''it's a good business that just needs the right buyer''.

''Unfortunately it's another example where there's an owner living remotely and is not hands-on so we're very hopeful that with the right buyer with experience then it can be an operational business again.''

Cain hoped a buyer would be found sooner rather than later.

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