The café without the coffee is a business success.

Yes, I run a successful cafe without a coffee machine. Every day there are people asking me to set up similar stores throughout the country, so people can feel the integrity in my business and ethics.

Nestled next to Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps of New Zealand – where the “Lord of the Rings” was filmed – is the beautiful town of Wanaka where, in my own way, I am changing the world!

I have been running a successful organic store and cafe here for over thirteen years. Initially I was in a business partnership with three other men, but I bought them out and evolved the business into being a popular destination for visitors from around the world and an integral part of the local community. But this was not easy and certainly brought up a whole range of issues for me to contend with.

The teachings of the Ageless Wisdom had brought me to a place where I could feel that the only way to truly be successful was to follow my own heart, to do things my own way, and to simply offer what I know of myself to the general public.

This meant making many major changes in my organic store, how it ran, whom I employed, what services were offered and what were not. In the short of it, I have quite simply broken the perceptions of what an organic store is meant to look like and what a cafe has to be.

The coffee machine just had to go. I went against the trend and turned the cafe into a meeting place where people can come together and truly converse without all the ‘rah rah’ of coffee culture with its noisy machine and caffeinated stress and bravado. Bringing the focus to a beautiful range of teas and other beverages helped create an atmosphere of relaxed social connection.

I now choose my staff not on their qualifications and experience, but more on their innate presence, how they relate, their own lifestyle, how they live, as I know that how a person is with themselves and how they choose to live will flow into how they are at work, what they really bring to the business and the customers, and us as a team.

Business is expanding and I have recently taken on the lease for the space above the organic store where I am in the process of building a wellbeing centre, with natural health and beauty products as well as a meeting space. And there is another store in the wings unfolding as I write.

The key to my business success has been my willingness to challenge the constraints and perceptions of society, and to simply give true expression to what lies at my essence.

This has not been an airy-fairy process of blind faith, it has been about being absolutely practical while following what is known from within, taking steps and feeling the truth, or not, of those steps.

I am always listening to what everyone has to say, but at the end of the day, if it doesn’t feel right to me, then I don’t do it, whereas in the past I would have thought that others know best.

Now for me it is simply to live my truth, follow my heart and trust that every step I take contributes to changing the world.

Filed under

Food industryLifestyleHealthy living

  • By Paul O'Hara, BSc (Zoology , Biology), DipSecTchg(Science)

    I run my own organic store and café in the beautiful town of Wanaka, New Zealand. I have love of all things in the natural world and the heavens above.

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.