Geoff Henderson is a complete novice when it comes to making choux pastry but he plans to be an expert by June next year.
Henderson and his wife Ella are the new owners of Ohakune's world-famous Chocolate Éclair Shop and the couple have a few months to learn how to emulate the production rate of previous owners the Nation family, who had owned the business for 80 years.
"Watching Allan Nation making the eclairs is a sight to behold," said Henderson.
"His technique is so perfect and he is so good at multi-tasking. He has the cream and the dough for the next batch mixing as the first one is coming out of the oven. It will take us a while to get that good but we plan to have the technique right and be ready to meet the demand next year."
Henderson may not be an experienced baker but he is no stranger to running a successful business and has owned a liquor store in Ohakune since 2009.
"We currently own several businesses - Hamilton Beer & Wine Co, Regional Wines & Spirits, Herne Bay Cellars and beercellar.co.nz," he said.
"So it's a complete change of direction here, but one we are very excited about nonetheless."
The Hendersons and their two small daughters - Sophie 3, and Georgia 2 - will be moving from their base in Hamilton to set up a home in Ohakune in February.
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The Nation family have traditionally closed their business in November every year and reopened on Queen's Birthday the following year to cover the busiest months and take a rest before the next tourist season.
They have been producing an average of 400 to 800 eclairs a day to meet the demand and have been known to bake up to 1400, along with the other baked goods they sell. Despite a lack of international tourists last year the Nations experienced their busiest season ever.
Brothers Allan and Steve Nation were ready to retire from working 10- to 12-hour days, and with no younger family members available to take over they decided to sell the business.
The Nations have said there was the potential to run the business year-round for someone with the energy, and Henderson said he might look at the possibility.
"We'll see how the first season goes and how the staff feel about it," he said.
"We could perhaps look at opening for 10 months of the year and give the staff two months off to enjoy the summer. We'll see how it goes."
The Nation family will close the shop for their final time next month and a special event will be held to mark the occasion, with details yet to be disclosed.