A small boutique family business situated on State Highway 25, Te Rereanga in rural Coromandel, Castle Rock Café makes chutney, relish, jelly, sauce and fruit vinegar. Andy and Shelley Corles are the duo behind the company’s success, and Andy shared his journey so far with the team.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“We bought the property in 2011; two acres includes our house and business. We started the business in 2012 and incorporated making the chutneys and fruit vinegar with our café. I am a chef by trade and decided that there was a opportunity where we are for a café and also retail our chutneys.”
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“All of our products are gluten-free, have no preservatives or artificial colouring, and we buy New Zealand produce as local as possible. We make them in small batches just like Grandma used to. The recipes in the range are original and have been my ideas which I have played around with and created.
The range includes Chilli Lime Chutney, Chilli Peach Chutney, Tangy Tomato Relish, Tamarillo Chutney, Chilli Chutney, Pineapple Relish, Red Onion Jam, Mint Jelly, Nana M’s Tomato Sauce, Karlos’ Sweet Chilli Sauce, Plum Sauce, Strawberry, Lemon and Mint Vinegar, Raspberry Vinegar, Blackberry Vinegar, Balsamic Honey Vinegar, Blueberry and Thyme Vinegar and Chilli, Lime and Coriander Vinegar.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“I was the person who did everything; chef and sales person, until two years ago. Unfortunately, I had a car accident which left me a tetraplegic. My nephew Dyon, who is a chef, flew back from Melbourne straight away and kept the business going for us. He has now moved on, and this means I have had to pass the reins on to Karlos Matchett, who has been employed as our chef/manager. I am still involved in the business. I spend time in the café making sure our products are the same quality every time, and I go to a lot of food shows around the country with my mother-in-law Margaret.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We are currently looking for new business throughout the country to sell our products to. We know from experience that once the public has tried them, they are hooked. We are also currently talking to Foodstuffs, as some of the stores wish to have our products.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Currently, our products are sold in Farro Fresh, The Farm Shop Gordonton, The Village Farm Shop Whakatata, New World Whitianga and online. We also have a website www.castlerockcafe.co.nz.”