A sense of starting afresh was a common feeling for many businesses when they got back after the stay-at-home Covid-19 restrictions.

For an established cafe/catering business in 11 Mahara Place, Waikanae, that feeling took on a greater meaning.

James and Annette Cootes not only changed the name of their business from Kiss and Bake Up, to Joe & Joy, but gave the premises a major overhaul making the cafe more up to date and inviting.

It followed a partial renovated a year ago.


Annette worked with Vanessa Webb, from Dress My Nest, to create the new design, which is light, airy and vibrant.

"We believe we make good food and sell good coffee, but it was trying to make the whole experience, when people come here, a good experience," James said.

Inside Joy & Joy.
Inside Joy & Joy.

They were halfway through the full renovation when the Covid-19 health crisis hit, temporarily closing the business.

But then as restrictions eased, work continued at pace.

"The builder and painters were amazing and came straight back in at level 3 and just got it done while we were shut and doing deliveries," Annette said.

The renovation was also a part of the couple's upcoming 20th anniversary of being in business next year.

"We looked at what we were doing, what we had done, and where we would like to be in our 20th year, and what we'd like for our customers and staff."

They decided they wanted to have the word "joy" as an integral part of the branding.


"It was actually Vanessa who said 'you should just call it Joe & Joy'," Annette said.

Annette and James Cootes.
Annette and James Cootes.

"Joe refers to a cup of joe [coffee], in America, because obviously my name isn't Joe, although it's a bit of a joke about me changing my name," James said.

"A good cup of coffee, paired with some good food, is simple, but it's one of the joys of life, so that's kind of the why behind it," Annette said.

Feedback had been positive.

"People really love it," she said.

The name Kiss and Bake Up has been retained for their wholesale side but Joe & Joy is the public face.

Their website www.joeandjoy.co.nz has also been given a revamp with more online offerings.