The Manuka Cafe – Stepping out in Style

Being able to take steps, or walking,  is something we often take for granted, aspired to at an early age, learnt after much practice then performed automatically everyday…even expanded upon with skipping, running, hopping and jumping.  This philosophy of learning new things, by practice and setback, until they eventually become second nature can be applied to everything from multiplication tables to driving a car or career progression to relationships.  If you apply yourself to practising the desired skills in a repetitive manner with a ‘never give up’ attitude…then success will come.   Often there is risk involved, like falling on your bottom, but persistence pays off.  I can only admire the personal strength and determination that I see in people who have lost the ability to walk….then through physio, sweat and tears learn to walk again.

This month has seen much stepping out and risk taking in the family and it is this that I wish to share.

1. I left my job in the community service sector …. because it was time to move on.   No I don’t have another ‘job’ to go to but I do have my passion to help others achieve their goals through Hospitality.  Thus Kyle-Scott Services, a business I had in NZ from 2006 – 2008, was reincarnated.  The lessons I learnt then, and those I have learnt since moving to Australia,  are helping me step forward into my future.


2. My daughter left her job…. to start a Café with her husband.  The concept of the Café had been around for a while and had evolved as different sites were considered.  The Manuka Café has been established in a renovated butchers shop and opened its doors in mid April 2013.

Because I had left my job I have had the privilege of being able to provide support and guidance to Alisha and Chris on a full time basis as the Café went from conception to customers.  I have had the privilege to, once again, work alongside my father and my husband as they assisted with the physical renovations and fit-out – as well as providing constructive feedback on the coffee.  Working alongside family can be such a rewarding time particularly when the specific talents of each individual are encouraged and respected towards a common goal. Well done team.

I am still assisting on a daily basis with practical hands on time in the Café as routines and systems are established, tested, rolled out and monitored until they become second nature, just like walking.   At a personal level I am  able to use this time to ‘learn to walk again’ in my hospitality shoes to –

  • refocus on my hospitality skills,
  • make connections in the hospitality sector,
  • regain confidence in the value of my experience and knowledge,
  • update myself on current trends in hospitality,
  • tourism and services

Its kind of like riding a bike for the first time in ages – bit wobbly and scary but I know I am headed in the right direction.

Anyway…. we are all stepping out, wobbly and insecure…unsure of the next step but determined to take it anyway….fearing the set backs but determined to get up again…. and delighted to be on our feet and heading in the right direction.


The Manuka Cafe is a New Zealand inspired cafe right in the heart of Forest Lake, Queensland, Australia. It is a family owned cafe, run by Alisha and Chris. We specialise in bringing a taste of New Zealand cuisine, cooked and prepared the way you remember it. We are using a number of iconic New Zealand brands in the meals we prepare like Watties, Edmonds, Griffins plus many more and sell the famous Maketu Pies ready to eat hot from the oven and lets not forget “The Worlds Longest Milkshake” featuring the iconic giraffe.

Alisha is a Fully Qualified Chef; a born and bred kiwi, and has a real passion for quality food with a work history including the Hilton Brisbane, The Indooroopilly Golf Club and The Lighthouse in Cleveland. Alisha from a young age was brought up around food, and food was a passion for her and her family of chefs. Her mother Janey, who is our mentor not only is a qualified chef, but also highly regarded in her field as a hospitality trainer specializing in food safety, developing staff and quality systems . Chris has worked in one of the top restaurants in New Zealand “Skyline” where service and fine dining was at the highest standard.Our mission is simple. To be your first choice.

Many thanks to those of you who have voted for me in the  Best Australian Blogs Competition….


3 thoughts on “The Manuka Cafe – Stepping out in Style

  1. Hi Janey!

    I am so proud of you for taking a scary step and leaving your job and using your time and effort into helping your family start a business. I work just down the road from forest lake (red bank plains) we should meet up at the manuka cafe for lunch one day after one my shifts! The food looks delicious.



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