Two Hamilton Gardens Cafe staff have been left shaken but uninjured after two people stormed in the office, assaulted them and fled with their handbags.
Cafe owner Jenny Fraser remained upbeat about the situation today but admitted it was pretty shocking and traumatic at the time.
Fraser said her and a staff member were in the office about 5.45pm on Saturday preparing to welcome people for a staff Christmas party when two men, described as Maori, walked into the office.
"Everybody is all fine, it was an incident that happened that was over and done with pretty quickly too," said Fraser, who was pushed over during the attack.
"[I] got pushed and another got hit in the face and she ended up on the ground. She's okay and she didn't need to go to hospital or anything like that. Was a bit traumatic, it's not the thing you expect to happen."
Fraser said as it happened so quickly she couldn't remember a lot of detail about the thieves other than them both being large Maori men, with one being slightly bigger than the other.
"Everything just happened so quickly, like I said to police, I can't really remember ...
we did run after them for a short while afterwards, down the stairs, but they just sort of took off."
The pair took off with two handbags towards the Waikato river jetty. However, the track loops around into the main car park area, so the pair could have ended up anywhere, she said.
"It was just really quite unusual, weird, how it just sort of happened and what they took. they must have just seen them and taken them as they fled out the door."
It was the first time anything like this had happened before and everyone had been left quite shocked.
Although there were security cameras in the cafe area, there weren't any in the office. However, that would be one of the first things attended to this week, she said.
The incident had also drawn the ire of the cafe's supporters, who replied to the cafe's post about the incident on Facebook.
"Wow, that's terrible. Hope they are caught," one wrote. Another posted "OMG ... I hope everyone is ok? Xx".
Cafe staff had just hours earlier posted about how busy their day was looking writing, "First weekend of Summer at HGC , 9am and already seven buses in the car park! We expect to see 4000 through the doors at the cafe this weekend , we are seating 250 now and we are READY TO RUMBLE!!!"
Waikato police Senior Sergeant Pete van de Wetering said police were investigating a theft and assault at the gardens from Saturday evening.
The offenders are still being sought, he said.