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Tasty business on booming cycle rail trail for sale

Tags: Commercial Coromandel

The owners of a burgeoning hospitality business and home situated in the middle of one of New Zealand’ s most popular cycle tracks have placed it on the market for sale to cash up their investment in a booming tourism market.

The Depot Garden Café is located at 1685 Pareoa-Tahuna Road in Tirohia – bordering the last section of the hugely popular Hauraki Rail Trail on the Coromandel. The property also includes the original Turua School house that has been converted into a three-bedroom homestead and a former railway depot.

The opening of the trail in early 2012 has seen visitors numbers through the area grow dramatically. Soon after the property’s elderly owners set up a hobby business, serving Devonshire tea and scones to hungry cyclists passing through.

In in first year, the business turned over $27,000, from customers passing by and through word-of-mouth. Since then, the Depot Garden Café has continued to grow beyond the owners’ expectations, serving customers tea and scones from 10am-4pm seven days a week.

As a result, the owners have decided to sell their business, placing it in on the market for sale as a going concern with Bayleys Hamilton, through an auction process on March 4.

Bayleys Hamilton salesperson Josh Smith, who is marketing the property, said Depot Garden Cafe represents huge potential for further expansion.

“This business started as a hobby for the elderly owners who had no experience in running a café and has grown exponentially in the past two years,” he said.

“The property is the last stop on the trail – 14 km from Te Aroha – making it the last opportunity for weary cyclists to refresh while on the journey. It’s also on the main highway linking Waikato, Paeroa and the Coromandel Peninsula, which receives a high volume of passing traffic.

“There is huge untapped potential. Among the opportunities for a new owner to consider are expanding the current café to offer a larger selection of food and drinks, licensing the business and adding a restaurant and accommodation, or alternatively creating a commercial function venue catering to weddings, family gathering and other special occasions,” said Mr Smith.

The property comprises a three-bedroom home incorporating the café, and a second building providing bathroom facilities and storage, built on 9,600sqm of land. Formerly a railway depot that had been shut down, the current owners bought it in the 1980s and ran a business on the site growing topiary hedging plants. They shut this business down before starting the Garden depot café in 2013.

The home is the original Turua School house that was relocated to the site and has been preserved to a high standard, said Mr Smith.

“The character of the 150sqm house has been retained and it features native timber floors and a high stud ceiling. In addition to three bedrooms, it has a commercial kitchen for preparing the tea and scones leads to a seating area under a gazebo with seating where customers can sit and enjoy the grounds while having their refreshments.

“The large topiary hedge garden is a focal point for the property, particularly for families. The hard work has been done – it only needs an annual trim to retain its current form,” said Mr Smith.


Also on-site is the original 150sqm railway depot building, which has a kitchen, bathroom, workshop and storage rooms. Twin and single garages also offer additional. The large section has enough room for coaches to park and turn, and there is car parking for up to 20 cars.

“All of the infrastructure is already in place for the business to be expanded, with a proven market literally right outside the gate. The railway building could be expanded into a bigger café or accommodation to supplement the existing business,”

“This property would be ideally-suited to a couple or family wanting to take over an established business with huge growth potential, while enjoying the flexible lifestyle of a combined home and business in a quiet, rural location,” said Mr Smith.

A recent report by the Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment noted the huge economic benefits which cycle trails such as Hauraki had delivered to provincial New Zealand.

The report highlighted that respondents visiting the cycle trail regions “only or mainly because of the cycle trails” spent an average of between $131 and $176 per person per day – with 20 percent of participating businesses involved with the routes indicating that they had expanded since the opening of the cycle trail in their region.

“More than a third of business survey participants indicated that they had seen an increase in the number of customers served by their business, with flow‐on effects in business income/turnover and business expenditure, but also in profit,” the Government report said.

“Corresponding with estimates of economic contribution made as a result of the Trail User survey, positive impact was most often seen by businesses around the Hauraki Rail Trail.”

The Garden Depot Café is ideally-placed to benefit from the proven market of the booming cycle trail market and represents huge potential for further expansion, said Mr Smith.

For further information on the Garden Depot Café contact Bayleys Hamilton salesperson Josh Smith on 027 229 8865

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