Hatea Loop users will soon be able have a coffee break or grab a bite to eat as they walk, run or cycle the northern leg of the popular 4.7km shared pathway in Whangarei.

John and Paula Kearney are opening a cafe at 52 Riverside Dr in a newly renovated building within the Riverside Drive Marina complex, alongside the Riverside park backing on to the Hatea River.

The Kearneys will be sharing the new space with another business - Waterman's World - the standup paddleboard business run by Riverside Drive Marina manager Karl Roberts.

Kafe will offer Altura fair trade coffee and snacks to go and is expected to be up and running by Labour Weekend next month.


Mr Kearney, who also runs graphic design business Total Idea Co, said the idea for the cafe came after a conversation with Mr Roberts, who was looking at options for the building which had been home to the Ray Roberts Marine service centre for about 40 years.

Mr Kearney suggested it could be a good spot for a cafe.

"Karl said do you want to do it and that was the start of it," Mr Kearney said.

Mr Roberts was keen to bring his paddleboard business downstairs from the showroom next door which would make it easier for customers to browse the range of boards for sale or hire.

"People will be able to grab a coffee and at the same time view the range of boards for sale," Mr Roberts said.

As well as coffee, Kafe will sell panini-style foods and other refreshments along the lines of Charlie's juices and smoothies.

Hours will be 7am-3pm seven days a week.

Mr Kearney said there would be limited seating because the idea was for people to pick something up as they made their way around the Loop.

Mr Roberts said Waterman's World was about providing the latest watersport equipment for today's keen waterman (man or woman), whatever that watersport might be.