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Our first business venture - The Red House

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wez130, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. wez130

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 31, 2004

    Posts: 10,541

    Location: Matakana New Zealand

    Hello all, i thought it would be good to post a new thread in GD about our new adventure. I posted a thread in the Career development subsection a while ago but now the wheels are turning much faster now so i thought it would be great to document our progress as we make it.

    A bit of background.

    I've been a chef in the UK for the past 25 years, it has always been a dream of mine to have my own restaurant. I met my wife nearly 6 years ago in the UK, she was on a working visa from New Zealand, we met pretty much as soon as she arrived in the UK, she has a hospitality background too.

    Last October, we made the move to New Zealand to start our new life here, and i applied for my permanent residency in February this year. More on that a bit later...

    My wife and i went on a short break for our 2nd wedding anniversary in December last year to a beach town in the north called Paihia, on our way back home, we had read about this restaurant called the cider shed, it had great reviews so we were looking forward to it. We arrived there to find it closed, however, we had a look around and thought, what a cool place this is, and didn't understand why it would be closed in summer! Never thought much of it after that.

    Fast forward to April this year, i was browsing the businesses for lease / sale, as we were looking for a small cafe or something for our first venture into self employment, and what do i see? Yes, the cider shed had gone up for lease, and at a pretty fair price too. We made some enquiries, went to view it, we already knew we wanted it before we viewed it, we instantly told the real estate agent that we were really interested and went away to look at finances. We went back to view it a second time with the land owner, we wanted to find out what we can and can't do with the land, we told her what we wanted to eventually do, which was to build yurts / cabins for accommodation after we had got the restaurant up and running successfully, she agreed that we could do this if we won the lease, however, there were 2 other interested parties (and a few more after too!). We got a lease agreement to go and run by our lawyer, he looked it over and everything seems fine, but we were worried about the other parties, what if they were more experienced, offered more (because the lease is frankly a bargain for the amount of land we've got). However, it turned out that both the real estate agent and the landlady liked our plans and we were always favourites to win the lease!

    Fast forward to 10th July, we finally made it official, we signed the lease, the Cider shed was ours! Now, remember how i said i applied for my permanent residency visa in February? Well, at this point, i had taken a huge risk, as at this point, it hadn't come through yet. Fortunately, almost week later on 16th July i got an email. 'Congratulations, you're permanent residence visa has been approved' Thank goodness for that :D
    At this point, the good news kept coming. We found out the reason that the cider shed had closed in the first place was because the previous owners, (a British couple), had been syphoning money from the business into their personal accounts and eventually went bankrupt. The owner was terrible with money. This worked in our favour, as all the fixtures and fittings had been left, but were not part of the lease, the liquidators had to sell them. We made a cheeky offer of $10k for everything, this included all the kitchen equipment (deep fat fryer, 6 ring burner and oven, chargrill (all blue seal commercial), chest freezers, commercial planetary mixer, all other kitchen stuff, a Traeger smoker plus a huge cabinet smoker, a walk in fridge, a 5 door bar fridge, all tables and chairs, oudoor stage, all beer taps and fittings, 2 huge gas heaters, and much more! We got an absolute bargain!

    Anyway, we're at today, we get the keys for the building on 20th August, with our opening planned for October 6th or 13th - to be decided yet. We have a huge amount of work to do. We've secured a bank loan for $16k, and put our life savings and the savings we had for a house deposit into the project so far to pay for licenses, deposits, lawyers and equipment. We've set up a facebook page but we have so much to do, we are both holding full time jobs down too still whilst spending all our spare time doing things for the business. The vision we have for the place is amazing, there's nothing like what we want to do anywhere north of Auckland. We've also set up a pledgeme page to raise a bit more money to help us along the way to buy equipment and to build a fence for security. this will also help us gauge how much interest there is in the venture, from facebook, we've already gathered quite a following, everyone in the area seems really excited for us to open!

    If you're interested, feel free to have a look..

    http://fb.me/theredhousewarkworth

    Wow, a long post so far, sorry if i've bored you lol. Here's some pictures of our investment...

    The land we have to play with...

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    And here's some pictures of the inside so far, and the grounds...

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  2. wez130

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 31, 2004

    Posts: 10,541

    Location: Matakana New Zealand

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    As you can see, it needs quite a bit of work doing to make it look nice, however, i hope you can see the huge potential we have to make something huge out of it! I'll keep this post updated so if you're interested, you can keep up with our progress, and if any of you ever come over, come and see us and i'll give you a free beer :D Anyone over here already, also, come in for a chat and a free beer too.

    Oh, and a cheeky link. as suggested in my other thread in business and career subsection, if you feel like contributing to my pledgeme page, i'll owe you one when you come over ;)

    https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/5730-the-red-house-bar-kitchen
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  3. Efour

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 8, 2005

    Posts: 23,602

    Location: Norrbotten, Sweden.

    Good luck dude, I know how daunting it is moving abroad.
    I'd like to start up something but I don't have the balls :p
     
  4. RoyMi6

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2010

    Posts: 2,556

    Amazing, looks like it has great potential!

    You had me worried when you mentioned that the previous owners had sold up before you had a chance to buy, as without a proper handover I imagine you didn't get a chance to look over the books etc to see where any problems lay. But hey, sounds like they were just useless and didn't make the most of what they had!

    Best of luck!
     
  5. Maundie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 20, 2010

    Posts: 2,038

    I remember the thread in Careers section, best of luck to you OP and I hope it works out, I know this is all the way down in NZ but I do love places like these rather than the constant chain eateries and when we travel we always try to look out for indies.

    I would certainly love to visit NZ and if I'm ever down your neighborhood I will certainly drop in for a cold one.
     
  6. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 21,114

    Location: Surrey and London

    Good luck dude!
     
  7. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,406

    Location: Warwickshire

    Looks good. Are you doing a significant amount of renovation prior to opening? (to the decor etc?)
     
  8. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 9,181

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Look forward to seeing how this progresses - subbed :)
     
  9. Vidar

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 18, 2008

    Posts: 3,481

    Location: Liverpool

    Congrats and good luck, hope to see many more updates.
     
  10. Diddums

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 24, 2012

    Posts: 16,251

    Location: London

    Looks ace mate, and moving to a foreign country can be hard, I've done it twice! I intend to visit NZ in the next few years and I'll definitely pop in for a nice lunch! We may even move there one day and become a regular, like Meg:




    Good luck dude, you are clearly enjoying it and it looks like a relatively pressure free working environment, keep us posted with your progress please!
     
  11. Maccy

    Commissario

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004

    Posts: 34,095

    Location: Back in Blighty

    All the best Wez, hope it pulls off and you have a successful business :)
     
  12. Clov!s

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 1, 2011

    Posts: 16,133

    Location:

    Best of luck, hope it brings you and your wife a very happy life. :)
     
  13. jsmoke

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 6,267

    So why did the last owners sell. If I have the right place, the cider shed got good reviews.
     
  14. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 23, 2009

    Posts: 2,760

    Location: South Wirral

    It's in his post. Treating the business as a personal piggy bank.

    Good luck wez. Subbed as I've read your other threads with interest.
     
  15. Marky

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 16, 2007

    Posts: 21,757

    Location: UK

    I work in the Commercial Catering Industry, and I know how tough it is starting out as a new Restaurant - I wish you all the best of luck :)
     
  16. Eurofighter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 20, 2014

    Posts: 1,149

    great news, i wish you all the best, it won't be easy to run a restaurant i imagine but hope it works well.
     
  17. TacticalFish

    Hitman

    Joined: May 6, 2016

    Posts: 672

  18. Marvt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 20, 2004

    Posts: 11,156

    Location: Chorley

    Good luck fella. I'll be following with interest :)
     
  19. doodah

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 18,184

    Location: London

    Not an easy task, good luck :)
     
  20. Selekt0r

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,653

    Location: Kent, UK

    That's the venue for next OcUK meet-up sorted then :D