Hi Amy! Tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve owned the Waihi Beach Hotel.
I’m a born and raised Waihi Beach local, mum of Charli (6) and Max (4) and one of seven siblings. No stranger to The Hotel during my teens and 20s my husband Shaun and I purchased The Hotel in March 2018.
You grew up here, lived abroad for a while, and then came back. What brought you home?
It’s funny, growing up here, the first thing you want to do is move to a big city, but once you move away, you realise how good you had it living in paradise. Put simply, I was homesick. During my visits back to the beach, I always felt a deep sense of belonging. An opportunity came up to work for our family’s childcare businesses in 2011, so we took the plunge and moved home.
How important is the local community to your business?
The local community means everything to us and makes all the hard work worth it. From those who come by Aunty Helen’s Pantry every day for their morning coffee, to those who stop in for Friday Tradies Night, it’s wonderful and appreciated and drives me to keep creating a better future for The Hotel.
You and your team have been very busy of late, tell us what you’ve been up to?
We’re pushing The Hotel in new directions, while maintaining the original essence that people know and love. My vision is to create a place that appeals to everyone, by creating distinctive spaces that offer something a bit different. We’ve just opened The Lounge – our swanky boutique cocktail bar. The other massive project we’ve been working on is our new Italian restaurant, Mazzolas. It opened in August, offering delicious food and a family-friendly vibe set in an atmosphere that feels like it’s been plucked out of Milan. We’re so proud of how both spaces have turned out.
How does being from a large family play a role at The Hotel?
Family is at the heart of everything here. If it wasn’t for the hard work of my entire family, nothing would get done in this place! From Dad Graham, leading the team on renovations, to brother Ethan, in the kitchen, everyone plays their role in making the magic happen. My very own Aunty Helen was our inspiration for Aunty Helen’s Pantry, our fabulous coffee shop out the front. Mazzolas is a family name from my mother’s side.
If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Italian! Because I have to say that haha!