Bay News Editor and reporter for NZME.

Siblings return to Bay for business opportunities

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Siblings (from left) Drift Coffee Caravan owner Vinnie Murphy, Murphy's Holiday Camp owner Beck Salter, and Networking Queen director Carmel Murphy, have moved back to the Bay. Photo/John Borren
Siblings (from left) Drift Coffee Caravan owner Vinnie Murphy, Murphy's Holiday Camp owner Beck Salter, and Networking Queen director Carmel Murphy, have moved back to the Bay. Photo/John Borren

Bay business opportunities and the chance to embrace lifestyle and family connections have lured four siblings back to the region.

Brought up in Matata, Carmel, Vinnie and Jess Murphy alongside sister, Beck Salter, have all returned home and were embarking on new adventures.

No strangers to the seaside township the family had owned Murphy's Holiday Park for 50 years and all agree that close connection with the community increased their desire to base themselves locally - despite spending years based around the country and overseas.

The quartet aged from 28 to 44 were involved in diverse enterprises that encompass business networking, a coffee caravan, farming, upcycled furniture and taking over the camping ground.


Beck Salter said when her parents Trish and Terry Murphy decided to retire from the holiday park earlier this year it was not hard to convince husband Shane to leave his corporate role for a major Australasia footwear company, in Melbourne.

"He was dead keen and pushed for us to do it".

A former graphic artist, she said it was a massive change but an awesome opportunity for them and their six year old son Ryan.

"We both came from professional backgrounds to motor camp proprietors so it is completely different and a challenge. We put our hand up because we didn't want it to go outside the family and it may have been sold."

The couple arrived in January in time for Auckland Anniversary weekend, Waitangi Day and Easter that was ''flat out" and "crazy busy".

They share responsibilities, with Mr Salter doing all the outside stuff while Mrs Salter concentrated on office administration while still drawing on "mum and dad who definitely have great experiences and can give us tips".

Younger brother Vinnie Murphy and his wife Nikita were the first ones to make the move from Wellington five years ago after graduating from Otago University.

They opened Drift - a coffee caravan at Matata in early 2015 and had high hopes for the future.

Initially Mr Murphy was the contract caretaker at the holiday park but he plans to lease a block of land and further his farming before the end of the year.

"As part of the farming idea we wanted to have a shop to sell our wares from. It is going from strength to strength and we are trying to improve it as much as we can."

Alongside coffee, they sold eggs, herbs and produce from the family orchard and local producers.

"We love the lifestyle, it is just fantastic and we wouldn't change it."

Carmel Murphy now splits her time between Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, in Tauranga and surrounding areas.

She founded Networking Queen more than four years ago to teach people the power of networking "as Kiwis like to do business with people they know, like and trust".

"I affectionately call it dating for business because much like personal dating you ask questions to get to know them, gain their trust and then you can sell to them. I think there is such a need and want for extra professional services in the Bay of Plenty to help businesses grow."

Miss Murphy was also an accredited service provider with the Callaghan Innovation and NZTE combined fund - a programme that was rolled out in the Bay of Plenty and enables small to medium businesses to apply for funding to conduct training across many areas of the business.

Ironically she used to be terrified of people and painfully shy but had overcome those hurdles and utilised them to benefit others.

"The Bay of Plenty and in particular Tauranga was experiencing an economic boom and it was exciting to see the investment by businesses", she said.

Meanwhile an interior design background in Melbourne and Tauranga had prompted Jess Murphy to look at starting an upcycling furniture business in ... Matata.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said there was strong business growth in the Bay and particularly in the area of start-up businesses.

"Anecdotally the organisation was increasingly hearing of people returning to the Bay to start a business," she said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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