The Cheese and Wine Shop’s owners Paul and Clare de Ruyter have pulled off a very quiet coup in South Street by opening their new cafe without fuss or fanfare. And it was deliberate.
Clare said, “We opened on Monday 14 August but kept it quiet because we wanted everything to be right and to offer customers good service rather than have lots of people coming and for them to be disappointed.”
Now the cafe is fully operational and open from 10.00am to 4.30pm from Tuesdays to Fridays and on Saturdays from 9.00am to 4.30pm.
It has been created from storage space which is now filled with surprising sunlight and warmth. Care has been taken to make the cafe feel both cosy, airy and comfortable and offer customers a genuinely inviting setting for snacks and meals.
As might be expected from the town’s renowned speciality outlet (the shop was Somerset’s Deli of the Year in 2013) the menu offers a range of tasty options including salads and light bites, sandwiches and quiches, cheese platters and meals from the hot kitchen. And there are desserts too and the cafe is fully licensed to sell beer, cider, wine and spirits as well as soft and non alcoholic drinks.
This venture has been Paul de Ruyter’s ambition since he and Clare took over the shop in 1998. Before coming to Wellington – ironically he is a native New Zealander from Wellington NZ – Paul was a chef. He is in charge of the brand new kitchen and responsible for the menu. He said the range of food available is flexible and will change over the months ahead. The cafe also means jobs for 4 new employees.
With nearly two weeks behind them the owners and staff of the cafe should now feel confident that they can take on a higher profile in the town and provide customers with food that is in keeping with the shop’s established quality and reputation.