Privately owned and passionately operated, Rushworth Cafe sits on Auckland CBD’s waterfront in the burgeoning North Wharf/ Wyndham Quarter precinct. We joined owner James Gardiner for a great coffee and a chat about his business and its relationship with power.
Tell us about how you got started?
“My brother and I bought an underperforming café on Wellesley St 7 years ago and thought we could win by offering better coffee, better food and better service which the area’s corporate clientele expected. It was hard work but our efforts were recognised and our landlord at the time asked if we would be interested in opening another café in
Elliot stables – we took the plunge.
2 years later a friend bought out my brother and in 2011, we were invited to open at North Wharf. We launched in time for the Rugby World Cup and benefited from our previous experience in being able to cope with large crowds.
North Wharf has grown significantly since we opened with new restaurants, a fantastic event and urban park area and new corporate and private office tenants who love good coffee. “
What do you love about your business?
“I love that my mother’s muffins are famous within our clientele’s businesses. I love receiving emails from local CEO’s and Exec’s complimenting me on our recipes. ASB even asked us to judge their staff scone and jam competition. I love food, it gives me a kick that my customers come back each day and I really look forward to catching up with them.
I don’t love 4am starts…”
You operate 7 days and often long hours. How does power supply impact your business every day?
“I can’t do anything without power. It’s essential. Our coffee machines, chillers, the fridges out the back, the electric hobbs, eftpos , lights, heating, everything relies on power. I can live with an appliance not working but with no power I have to shut the doors. “
What are you looking for from your power supplier?
“We are great at running café’s but acknowledge that we don’t intelligently manage our power bill. We wanted a power supplier who understands our business and helps us to save on power costs. It’s that simple. “
What has Utilise done for you?
“A Utilise account manager came to see us and looked at how and where our business uses power. They helped us understand smart meter technology and structured a plan that took advantage of off peak rates, in particular for our chillers that run all night 7 days a week. We are now making materials savings on the cost of our previous power bills. “
Some businesses fear switching suppliers will be a hassle. What was your experience?
Frankly, it couldn’t have been easier. Once Utilise worked through the rate plan with us that suited our business, I signed the proposal and the rest was taken care of. I got a letter saying the switch was complete and the next month my first bill arrived.
Do you have any advice for people considering switching to Utilise.
As a small business owner, every outgoing cost matters and whilst power is essential it doesn’t have to cost you more. Try Utilise, they offer great service, it’s an easy process and they deliver what they say they will. We are happy customers.