Friends helping out friends, and businesses building each other up, is what Cantabrians do best.
Café and bar owner Stu McDougall was eternally grateful to have his entrepreneurial buddy, Ben Hogg, weave some infamous Purple Weka magic online during lockdown.
He kept loyal customers entertained, as nothing was coming out of the kitchen for four long weeks.
With a communications degree from Massey and a ten year stint as a marketing executive in Christchurch, the 31-year-old launched his own enterprise in January – www.marketable.nz – helping the “small guys” engage closely with customers.
Ben has always enjoyed helping others to harness creative ways to grow their business.
“It’s something I’ve been doing for years anyway, helping out friends like Stu.
We met when I moved down from Palmy. I stayed with him and he showed me the ropes of local life.
Helping with Stu’s social media, I wanted to capture the thing that makes his café such a special place for customers, so I spent a whole day at the café to get a feel for the banter I’d come to associate with knowing Stu.”
When reading Stu’s hilarious 10 commandments for level 2 on Facebook, no one would suspect that Ben was the social media guru behind the scenes.
“We also felt it was important to support Stu’s team by sharing their side-hustles too, such as Cassidy’s photography, Hayley’s nail business and Jacinta’s keto-friendly cooking.
“Businesses succeed when they collaborate and we all need to look at ways to complement, rather than compete, with each other.”
Die-hard fans of the Purple Weka Café & Bar know their fave dish is always on the menu, hence the beeline to the awesome central oasis at 48 Fitzgerald Avenue.
Owner Stu McDougall daren’t retire his creamy mushrooms on ciabatta from the menu.
There’s nothing nicer in autumn than a feast of juicy mushrooms piled high on the plate. Add an extra of egg and bacon and this fan favourite can’t be topped.
For a real comfort food fix, his grandma’s old-fashioned savoury mince on toast recipe brings back memories.
Traditional deliciousness. The special twist is the soft poached egg on top. “A poke with a fork and it drizzles through the mince – divine,” Stu says.
Corn fritters and bacon with the tangy house-made relish is simply delish any time of the day.
Accompanied by golden fries and fresh green salad, lunch icons include the beaut Battered Blue Cod or try the grand Gourmet Angus Burger – a massive mouthful with onion, Swiss cheese and bacon in a corn dusted bun.
“It’s a huge meal,” promises Stu, which means plenty to spare to toss a few crumbs to those pesky purple wekas.
Wash down with a house wine, beer, or a great coffee and the day couldn’t get better.
Be amongst the cheery banter inside or soak up the sun outdoors, from Monday to Friday 6am to 4pm and 8am to 3pm Saturdays and Sundays, with the kitchen closing up at 2pm daily for menu meals.
It’s nearly the end of the decade – time to shout the team a well-earned Purple Weka spread.
Purple Weka Café and Bar is open and humming at 6am, so people can park outside the door to grab their catering order for get togethers in the boardroom or tradies’ toolbox shouts. It’s a great little licensed venue for functions too, seating up to 50.
Hands-on owner and foodie Stu has 20 years’ experience in the industry. He creates the best, from antipasto platters, egg ‘n’ bacon slices and sumptuous club sandwiches through to decadent scones with jam and cream. Purple Weka sells jars of its own homemade jam and marmalade too – a sweet as Christmas pressie!
Just like the café, it’s always wholesome, homestyle cooking for the popular catering service, Stu says. Around 36 hours’ notice is appreciated, but you can always ask.
Stu knows his customers and has high-protein fixes for an energy injection, like berry and banana high-protein shakes and a peanut butter and dark chocolate protein slice. Saintly yet sinful!
Those in the know also head for Purple Weka’s whitebait sammies at this time of year, which, subject to availability, are always a sell-out. It’s served Kiwi-style only – that’s between soft white bread with a squeeze of lemon.
To arrange catering – no order too large or too small – or to pre-order fabulous takeaway coffee, phone 03 366 0258, or visit www.purplewekacafe.co.nz for the catering menu. Pop down to Purple Weka on Fitzgerald Avenue, which is open seven days a week, if you haven’t already.
Located at 48 Fitzgerald Ave, Purple Weka Café and Bar is one of Christchurch’s best relaxed weekend dining spots, where good fun and great service goes hand in hand with great Kiwi-style breakfasts and lunches.
With plenty of comfortable indoor and outdoor seating and onsite parking, the café offers a stylish ambience and friendly atmosphere, second to none. For Purple Weka, a new season means a tantalising new menu. Start your day by getting stuck into a succulent omelette, which one gentleman described as, “The best omelettes ever”.
The eggs benedict or a hearty big breakfast are all part of Purple Wekas’ popular breakfast menu. The mince on toast with a soft poached egg is always an old favourite but there’s so much on the menu worth exploring.
Along with whitebait, there’s a wide variety of new options to try. Why not give one of the famous cheese rolls a go, with mince and cheese straight from Otago? Purple Weka is also fully licensed, so wine and beer are available. It’s a great location to meet your friends on the weekend too. All sweet and savoury delicacies are made fresh each day and the kid’s menu means the wee ones’ cravings will be catered for. Speaking of catering, Purple Weka is also able to provide your next work or social function with quality eats and beverages.
For more information, visit www.purplewekacafe.co.nz, visit the Facebook page or phone 03-366 0258.
Open Monday to Friday 6am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-3pm.