It's ironic that the Landing Cafe known for their Choice Pies at Kapiti Coast Airport had its best month yet the month before Air New Zealand stopped its service from Paraparaumu to Auckland.

The family business run by Chris and Donna Orchard with help from their daughter Jessica, has been operating for 11 months from the airport terminal.

They developed their gourmet pie creations in a friend's commercial kitchen three years ago.

They were getting comfortable and finding their feet after settling into their operation.


"We had just sort of tailored what people wanted after being here for nearly 11 months," Chris said.

"We've got our food model and our business model perfectly catered for the traveller so if Air Chathams doesn't come on we will need to change that.

"Realistically I have to be positive though.

"From a business perspective I have to look at it as if Air Chathams come on board it's a bonus."

With travellers from the Air New Zealand service making up 75-80 per cent of business, Chris sees positivity as the only way forward.

Having only found out about the service being cut at the same time as everyone else, the Orchards have only had three weeks to come up with a whole new business plan and are not relying on Air Chathams to come to the rescue.

"Having to reinvent yourself in three weeks is not really the done thing.

"It takes most businesses 12 months to establish themselves."

Axing of the service came as an especially large blow after the Orchards spent $10,000 on a new extractor unit installed the same week.

"You either lie down and die with it or you get up and diversify and do something different."

Chris has a number of options up his sleeve, with the number one option expanding Choice Pies Ltd wholesaling to local cafes and petrol stations.

Other options include using a website for online ordering, which Chris has been developing since the announcement.

Other ideas include turning the cafe into a restaurant which will not rely quite so heavily on foot traffic as a cafe would.

Meanwhile Rent Me Rentals, which also operates from the main airport terminal, said Air New Zealand customers do provide them with some business but they do not rely on it like the Orchards do.

"It's too soon to make a judgement call," Lawrie Staples from Rent Me said.

"It's going to affect us obviously, but it's not going to shut us down."