How cool is it when you find two of your most favourite things in one place: a great barbershop combined with great espresso bar! This was all in a very hip part of New Zealand, where you can surf and snowboard on the same day; the snow is just an hour away from the beach. Yes, it’s the well kept secret of New Plymouth on the South East coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The barbershop/café is right on the edge of the main shopping precinct. To make it even more appealing, it’s right beside the local pub.
The business is the creation of Shaun and Cassie Conaglen, who after 20 years in Manly, Australia, escaped to go on a year long surfing pilgrimage. It was during this trip that they stumbled on old home dirt in New Plymouth and changed their lifestyle choices. Shaun is a builder with a pretty impressive background in Australia, renovating Sydney’s classic architecture with his own company. Cassie was a Solicitor, mostly doing family law, so they had no experience in barbering or coffee at all, except as a customer. It was when Shaun came back from his daily surf that he sprung it on Cassie he wanted to open this new venture. She thought he was mad, but the two were looking for a new chapter in their lives back in NZ, and took it on as a challenge.
They have hit all the right bits to this business puzzle, and they have a pretty experienced bunch of young barbers and baristas working for them. There has been plenty of detail put into the layout, combining two shops to make the space work well. It is a total retro fitout, from deco light fittings to the Axminster carpet in the upstairs lounge. The locals are loving the funky feel, and men are travelling from afar for their weekly feel good groom.
Cassie has taken to the café and has employed some gun baristas to punch out morning brews. She’s also put her stamp on to the menu, with some healthy choices. She has got the baking sorted, with a real good Kiwi scone.
Shaun is enjoying the barber side of the business, organising the bookings and having that business beer with his clients in the afternoon debriefing sessions.
This setup is a great example of a cool barbershop/café business. It’s nice to see these guys have a real vision for what the customer wants. Now, let’s make it work!
Good luck, guys, and enjoy the new chapter in you life.
32 Egmont, New Plymouth, New Zealand 4310
(06) 758 8840